GOP Senate begins slowly moving on from Trump — but not everyone is on board
The Senate is moving ahead with President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet picks, despite a handful of Republicans digging in their heels.
The GOP-controlled Senate is moving forward on at least three of President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet nominees, signaling a readiness to look beyond Donald Trump’s fight to remain in power — but not everyone is on board.
On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, sent questionnaires to former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, tapped by Biden for Treasury secretary, and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, selected to serve as Health and Human Services secretary. A spokeswoman for Ron Wyden, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, confirmed the news to Bloomberg.
Additionally, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee sent a list of questions to Antony Blinken, whom Biden nominated as his secretary of state, and will potentially schedule a hearing for his confirmation before the Jan. 20 inauguration, a source familiar with the matter told the outlet.
Idaho Sen. Jim Risch chairs that committee and New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez is ranking member.
The updates on the Cabinet confirmation process come days after the Electoral College cemented Biden’s victory over Trump.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday opened the chamber by acknowledging Biden’s win.
“I want to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden,” he said. “Many of us had hoped the presidential election would yield a different result. But our system of government has the processes to determine who will be sworn in on Jan. 20. The Electoral College has spoken.”
Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) also spoke with Biden over the phone to congratulate him, the Associated Press reported.
But not all Republican senators are ready to move on.
On Wednesday, Sen. Ron Johnson (WI) held a hearing on supposed election “irregularities,” claiming to have “legitimate questions” about voter fraud, despite no evidence to back it up.
Trump has repeatedly pushed these claims since losing the election in November, suggesting the process was rigged and insisting he had won if only “legal” votes were counted. He appeared to be suggesting that all absentee and mail ballots were somehow fraudulent (they were not).
Sen. Josh Hawley (MO) said at that same hearing that voter fraud allegations must be investigated because his voters believed the false claims pushed by Trump and his GOP allies.
Sen. Rand Paul (KY) added, without any proof, “The election was in many ways stolen.”
It was not. Elsewhere in that hearing, Christopher Krebs, former director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, whom Trump fired recently in a tweet, reinforced his previous statements that the election had been fair and secure.
“There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” he said.
Trump ousted Krebs over a similar statement in November, wrongly claiming that it was “highly inaccurate, in that there were massive improprieties and fraud.”
A new CNN report said Trump is also threatening to not leave the White House on Jan. 20.
“He’s been fed so much misinformation that I think he actually thinks this thing was stolen from him,” one of his advisers told the outlet.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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