Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) made a commitment on Wednesday to prevent the Senate from confirming any of President Joe Biden’s nominees unless the administration responds with legislative requests for information surrounding the classified papers issue involving Biden.
Tuesday’s deadline for the National Archives to provide the requested records to the House Oversight Committee was missed, continuing the administration’s strategy of stalling during news briefings at the White House.
When queried about the classified materials, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre often replies, “I’d recommend you to the White House Counsel’s office.”
Republican senators will “impose pain on the admin. until they deliver these records,” Cotton told reporters. “And both parties are contributing to that.”
“I’m willing to reject any nomination for any department or agency or to expedite their appointment. And until the administration provides these records so that the Congress can make its own educated decision about the risk to national security, I will do all I can on every committee on which I sit to inflict repercussions on it,” Cotton stated.
The Senate will go more slowly if Senate Republicans “impose pain” on the administration until they cooperate. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will have less time for business on the Senate floor if the filibuster of nominations continues. Since the beginning of the year, the Senate has only done one thing—sort out our committee assignments. It officially announced an assistant defense secretary on Monday.
The path to confirmation is frequently longer and more difficult, even though a nominee can be speedily affirmed if all 100 senators agree. A simple majority vote is required to approve a nominee, but any senator’s filibuster can prevent confirmation from happening.
In Cotton’s words, “Congress has an unquestionable right to every single document, object, photo, box, picture, and map that were at President Trump’s house, President Biden’s residence and office, and for that matter, Vice President Pence’s residence as well. I’m still unsure about what was written in these materials. Nobody in Congress that I am aware of has any idea.”
Cotton made his remarks during a private meeting with Biden officials on Wednesday. Avril Haines, the director of national intelligence, allegedly attended the meeting.
The briefing, according to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), was “extremely unsatisfactory… to assert that they won’t divulge anything to us if the special counsel forbids it or that they won’t divulge anything to us at all? That is a hopeless situation.”
Senators other than Cotton and Rubio also disapproved of the briefing. The head of the Senate’s intelligence committee, Mark Warner (D-VA), told reporters that the admin’s “responses didn’t meet the mark, and I’ll have additional things to say later.”
Warner stated, “I’m quite dissatisfied with the lack of clarity and a schedule on when we’re going to have a briefing. Until a special counsel decides it’s OK for us to be briefed, we are stuck in uncertainty. And every option will be considered in an effort to ensure that this does not happen.”
It’s uncertain whether Democrats will side with Republicans in opposing Biden’s picks.