Cardin on Trump Cabinet Nominees: 'We Are Going to Take Our Time'

February 12, 2017

Sen. Ben Cardin (D., Md.) said on Sunday that the reason there has been such a low number of nominees confirmed to President Trump's Cabinet is because Senate Democrats are "taking their time."

"We can't stop these nominees and we know that," Cardin told host Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. "I think it's important that we took as much time as possible so that the American people understood our concerns."

Cardin said that slow-walking Trump's Cabinet nominees allows Republicans to see Democrats' concerns and question the nominees as well.

So far there have been seven nominees confirmed to Trump's Cabinet, while at this point in 2009, three weeks into a new administration, there had been 12 nominees confirmed to former President Obama's Cabinet. In 2001, former President George W. Bush had his entire Cabinet in place.

Wallace reminded Cardin about 2013, when Republicans had delayed the confirmation of two members of Obama's second term Cabinet. Cardin had said in 2013 that it was part of a Republican pattern of blocking key Cabinet positions.

Wallace then asked if Senate Democrats are doing the same thing today.

Cardin responded that in 2013 the Republicans controlled the Senate and were not scheduling votes.

"We don't control the agenda; the Republicans control the agenda," Cardin said. "All we can do is take our time. We can have time for debate, the 30-hours that are given to us. We can't block when it's brought to the floor. We can't block when the votes take place, that the Republican leader decides."

"All we can do is use the time that is allotted to us to make our points, and that's what we are doing," he continued.

Wallace then reminded Cardin that in some of the Senate committees Democrats have not even showed up to allow a vote to happen on Trump's nominees.