While Democrats had hoped to accomplish several legislative feats, including passing President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act, before the Chrismas break, the struggling party only managed to confirm a handful of ambassadors and other appointments before heading out.
While the new round of confirmations equals some level of progress, given that many of them were held up by Republican senators, according to Fox News, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) admitted that Senate Dems have “little to celebrate” with regard to the small number of confirmations.
It was on Saturday that the Senate confirmed some 30 nominations, including several ambassadors, shortly after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) agreed to take a vote on possible sanctions for the company behind the Nord Stream 2 pipeline — a pipeline that carries natural gas from Russia to Germany.
Reportedly, a number of senators expressed interest in breaking for the Christmas holidays, but Schumer reportedly threatened to keep them in session in order to accomplish a number of tasks that he believes had national security implications.
Who was confirmed?
One notable name, Rahm Emanuel, the former Democratic mayor of Chicago and chief of staff to former President Barack Obama, was confirmed to an ambassadorship to Japan in a 48–21 vote.
Other ambassadorship, including those to Somalia, Vietnam, and Spain, were also pushed through the upper chamber in successful votes.
While Democrats have criticized Republican senators such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) of purposely holding up a large number of Biden’s nominees, they must have quickly forgotten that the same process was played on the other side of the aisle when former President Donald Trump entered the White House in 2016.
“Sen. Schumer doesn’t have anything close to clean hands here,” Sen Roy Blunt (R-MO) said in reference to when Dems created a logjam for Trump.
Dems were subject to yet another legislative blow on Sunday after moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) revealed during a Fox News interview with host Bret Baier that he was a solid “no” vote on the current iteration of Biden’s Build Back Better social spending package.
Manchin said in his admission: “And I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I just can’t. I’ve tried everything humanly possible. I can’t get there.”
“This is a no on this legislation. I have tried everything I know to do. And the president has worked diligently. He’s been wonderful to work with,” he added, according to The Daily Wire.
Only time will tell if Dems can manage to pull off nothing less than a miracle to convince Manchin to get on board, but with 2022 campaign season firing up after the Christmas break, it looks as if though Biden’s legacy bill simply died on the operating table.