Congress Readjourns – Will Democrats Change Strategy?

After a weekend that saw the second and third days of mass demonstrations across the nation in defiance of the president and his actions so far, there are some indications that Democrats in Congress may be catching up with their supporters. After attending the Battery Park rally in New York City with my daughter yesterday, and watching a Chuck Shumer was bombarded with exhortations from the crowd to not vote for any more of Trump’s nominees, he seemed to get the message, saying in a Facebook post:

The people that the president has nominated to serve in his cabinet will have incredible power over millions of Americans and in shaping what kind of country we are going to be.

I’ve made it very clear I will vote NO on nominees DeVos (education), Tillerson (state) and Sessions (attorney general). Nothing will change that, and while I will continue to demand that each nominee issue a public statement on his or her views of President Trump’s Muslim Ban, I will vote against nominees who will be the very worst of this anti-immigrant, anti-middle-class, billionaires’ club cabinet. Rep Mick Mulvaney for Budget Director, Rep Tom Price for Health and Human Services, Steve Mnuchin for Treasury, Scott Pruitt for EPA and Andy Puzder for Labor have repeatedly shown they will not put the American People or the Laws of our nation first, and I will vote against their confirmations.

This is in addition to previously announced opposition to Betsy DeVos, Rex Tillerson and Jeff Sessions. So, one of the biggest outliers on my Senat Tracking page seems to falling into line. Whether Dianne Feinstein and others follow remains to be seen, but this week seems to be a key one as far as whether Democrats will move toward a strategy of blanket opposition.

Late today, the Senate will vote on the aforementioned Mr. Tillerson, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State. Tomorrow, it will be Elaine Chao’s (Transportation) turn. Committee votes are anticipated to come tomorrow for Sessions (Attorney General) and DeVos (Education). Pruitt and Shulkin are on the calendar for Wednesday. Additional confirmations could be announced for later in the week.

In the House, there are a number of actions, from naming a mountain and regulating Dungeness crab to improved technology for nuclear weapons detection and sharing terror threat information that I’ll address as they are voted on if need be. Most of the focus, though, will rightly be on the Senate, and just how many votes Trump’s most controversial (Sessions, Tillerson, DeVos) and seemingly palatable (Chao) nominees get from Democrats. Unfortunately, the actual confirmations themselves seem anti-climactic, as there are no Republicans expected to vote against any of them.

As a bit of housekeeping, I’ve updated the sidebar with a Widget that will stream Congressional tweets from Members of Congress live to the website. Regardless of one’s personal opinion on elected officials circumventing media to send 140 character messages directly to their constituents, it’s the reality we live in.

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