Senator Bernie Sanders, the progressive independent of Vermont, has emerged as a challenger to the Secretary of Labor in the administration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., a prospect that fits his ambitions of being a warrior for working Americans – and one that does some Senate Republicans are very uneasy.
It is a testament to the deterioration of the Senate’s confirmation process that a longtime colleague – even one whom they strongly oppose – would face such a Republican roadblock. In the not-too-distant past, other senators were given considerable leeway from the opposing party if elected to join the executive.
The growing senatorial opposition to Sanders, even before any formal action by the new administration reflects the formidable task that Biden faces. Should Republicans stick to their Senate majority next year, Mr. Biden be the first president since George Bush in 1989 to enter office without his party controlling the hall and directing the confirmation process. And this process has grown much more toxic, to the point where senators routinely engage in almost blanket opposition to the election of a president from the opposite party – if they allow consideration at all.
Some Republicans who need to win at least one of the two elections to the Senate in Georgia on January 5 to keep their slim majority have already made it clear that they are not eager to give Mr. Bite a lot of leeway when it comes to nominees. They note the Democrats’ efforts over the past four years to block President Trump’s election and to force Republicans to clear every time-consuming procedural hurdle, even when the end result was inevitable.
“I can assure you that there will not be one set of rules for Donald Trump, and if Joe Biden joins, another set of rules for him,” Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican in Arkansas, said this week on Hugh’s radio program Hewitt. a conservative host.