Jordan Candler / January 31, 2017

Which Is the Party of Obstructionists?

Price and Mnuchin hit a Democrat roadblock.

Democrat obstructionists are exploiting a rarely used strategy to delay as long as possible some of President Donald Trump’s nominees. According to The Hill, “Senate Democrats on Tuesday refused to attend a committee vote on two of President Trump’s more controversial nominees, effectively delaying their consideration. Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee boycotted votes to advance Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), Trump’s pick to head the Department of Health and Human Services, and Steven Mnuchin, his selection to head the Treasury Department.”

They amusingly insist the boycott revolves around ethics. We’re (ahem) enlightened that the righteous Left is suddenly worried about principles, but Hatch, for his part, rebutted, “I can’t understand why senators who know we’re going to have these two people go through can’t support the committee.” We can. Both nominees are despised by Democrats. And as far as Price is concerned, the Left may be trying to change ObamaCare’s fate. As The Wall Street Journal notes, “In addition to slowing action on key Trump administration jobs, the move also throws a wrench — at least temporarily — into Republican efforts to speed up repeal of the Affordable Care Act.” Who’s playing politics with Americans’ health again?

For the record, boycotting a nominee isn’t unheard of, though not necessarily to this degree. It happened in 2003 and again in 2013, both involving EPA nominees (Mike Leavitt and Gina McCarthy, respectively). This time, however, Democrats are boycotting two nominees simultaneously. It has less to do with genuine concern about their policy ideas and ethics than it does ultimately derailing the GOP’s momentum.

In a Feb. 2016 op-ed for The Washington Post, now-retired Sen. Harry Reid warned that the GOP risked being “remembered as the most nakedly partisan, obstructionist and irresponsible majority in history.” Fast forward to today, and the Senate hasn’t even gotten to Trump’s Supreme Court and EPA picks. By the time all is said and done, Reid’s words will most accurately reflect his own party. Fortunately, the only difference is that, thanks to Reid’s failed leadership, the Democrat Party is an irresponsible minority.

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