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McConnell To Push For John Ratcliffe’s DNI Confirmation

The Senate Majority Leader hopes to confirm a handful of Trump picks in the coming weeks

While the nation seems to be completely focused on the current pandemic, life continues in the halls of congress as something other than bailouts and stimulus spending aimed at combatting COVID-19 hits the docket in the United States Senate.

According to a new report from the Washington Examiner, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) has stated that he intends to “move to confirm the nominations for several top Trump administration positions this week, including Rep. John Ratcliffe, President Trump’s pick to serve as the director of national intelligence.”

McConnell stated in a floor speech Wednesday morning that Ratcliffe “would be among four nominations he will push to confirm before lawmakers leave town for the Memorial Day recess.”

“I hope our Democratic colleagues will not block the Senate from filling these key national security vacancies before we adjourn later this week,” McConnell said. The timing of this all works in favor of McConnell and Senate Republicans since nominations that don’t follow the regular debate time requirements would need consent from minority Democrats, which does not appear likely.

A piece published Tuesday at The Hill emphasized McConnell’s commitment to getting Ratcliffe nominated and confirmed as soon as possible. “The role is essential for monitoring and countering evolving threats from Russia to China to terrorist groups” McConnell stated, “and for ensuring the intelligence community’s important work is not tainted by the partisan bias or political weaponization.”

Some Senate Democrats seem intent on voting against the confirmation of Ratcliffe, such as Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) who stated that Ratcliffe seemed “very well briefed but I just don’t see any evidence that he’s going to speak truth to power,” Wyden told reporters after Ratcliffe’s initial hearing.
This vote does come on the heels of a Senate Republican scandal in the same ballpark, however, with Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) stepping down as chairman of the Intelligence Committee, not even a full week from publishing as a result of a “federal investigation into stock sales” that appear to have been made as a result of insider trading.
Ratcliffe’s journey to the possible position as DNI has been far from smooth. President Trump wanted to nominate Ratcliffe a year earlier, but Ratcliffe himself stopped lobbying for the position “amid reports that he inflated his résumé” according to The Hill. Still, Ratcliffe continued to stand firmly in the President’s corner by being part of the House Republicans who counseled the President during last year’s impeachment.

Written by Adam Kohen

Adam Kohen is a contributor to The Schpiel.

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