31 Oct 2003 Important Enough to Obstruct, But Not Important Enough to Vote On
From National Center executive director David W. Almasi:
Utah Governor Mike Leavitt was finally confirmed to become the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency on October 28. He was confirmed by a vote of 88-8, with four members not present.
That’s a pretty wide margin of victory for Leavitt and the Bush Administration, but the way in which it came shows how Senate liberals are abusing the legislative rules to take out their aggression on the President.
The first time Leavitt was scheduled for a vote in the Environment and Public Works Committee, minority members boycotted the meeting — thus denying committee chairman James Inhofe a quorum. Leavitt was also deluged with questions and legislative holds on the nomination, common precursors to a filibuster.
After the Bush Administration made some concessions and took some lumps of criticism, the liberals dropped their holds and filibuster threat and the vote when through with overwhelming support. Bush’s nominees to the appeals courts are facing filibusters of the sort threatened against Leavitt, but they have not been as lucky. Some nominees have been waiting since May of 2001 for the courtesy of an up or down vote in the Senate, but are being denied by liberal filibusters. Most, if not all, would easily be confirmed if they were brought up for the vote. One nominee, Miguel Estrada, withdrew his nomination rather than continue this debasement of democracy.
Important enough to obstruct, but not important to actually come out and vote on, eh?