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Shelby advocates improving Senate nominations procedures

Senator Richard Shelby questions Secretary of Defense Ash Carter during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense hearing on the DoD fiscal year 2017 budget request at The Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington D.C., Apr. 27, 2016. Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz

Wednesday, U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, participated in a Rules Committee markup to review Senator James Lankford’s, R-Oklahoma, resolution, “Improving procedures for the consideration of nominations in the Senate.”

The measure, S. Res. 355, would limit post-cloture debate time to allow a more effective confirmation process for certain judicial and executive nominations.

“I am proud to see that we are making progress toward improving the Senate nominations process,” Shelby said. “Despite stalling tactics from the Democrats, the Republican-led Senate is one step closer to expeditiously confirming President Trump’s judicial nominees. Once confirmed, these nominees will not only help impact courts in Alabama and other individual states, but they will also have the ability to influence the entire nation for generations to come.”

S. Res. 355 would reduce post-cloture debate time for most executive branch nominees from 30 hours to eight hours and District Court nominees from 30 hours to two hours. However, the 30 hours of post-cloture debate time for Supreme Court, Circuit Court, and Cabinet-level nominees would remain the same under the proposed resolution.

In December 2017, Shelby held a hearing as chairman of the Rules Committee to review Senator Lankford’s resolution. The full committee met today to debate the bill and advanced the resolution by a vote of 10 to 9. The measure now awaits consideration by the full Senate.

In 2017, the Senate confirmed 261 of President Trump’s nominations, compared to 418 nominations in President Obama’s first year and 483 nominations in President Bush’s first year.

Additionally, President Trump’s nominees have faced 88 cloture votes in the first year, versus a total of 24 cloture votes for the previous six presidents.

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The state of Alabama currently has five District Court nominees awaiting consideration before the full Senate.

Trump nominated Anne Marie Connie Axon, Jeffrey Uhlman Beaverstock, Emily Coody Marks, Terry Fitzgerald Moorer, and Liles Clifton Burke on January 8 and the Senate still has not confirmed them to the federal bench. Andrew L. Brasher was just nominated on April 10. Brasher is the Solicitor General of Alabama.

“Democrats are obstructing good (hopefully great) people wanting to give up a big portion of their life to work for our Government, hence, the American People,” Trump tweeted last week. “They are “slow walking” all of my nominations – hundreds of people. At this rate it would take 9 years for all approvals!”

Shelby is a senior member of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration.


Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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