- The Washington Times - Friday, January 20, 2017

Liberal senators on Friday blocked plans to speed through President Trump’s pick to lead the CIA, demanding more time to scrutinize the nominee, Rep. Mike Pompeo.

Leaders from both parties had said they hoped Mr. Pompeo could be quickly confirmed as part of a slate of national security nominees, helping Mr. Trump get off to a quick start.

Retired Marine Gens. James Mattis and John Kelly, Mr. Trump’s picks to lead the Defense and Homeland Security departments, are still expected to clear the Senate Friday afternoon.

But Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon, Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut objected to Mr. Pompeo, forcing the nomination to languish.

“No CIA Director in history has ever been confirmed on Inauguration Day,” they said in a statement. “The importance of the position of CIA Director, especially in these dangerous times, demands that the nomination be thoroughly vetted, questioned and debated.”

They said the agency can survive without a politically appointed leader for the time-being.

It’s the opposite of the claim Democrats made over the last eight years, when Republicans slow-walked some of President Obama’s picks, and Democrats said agencies needed confirmed chiefs to show leadership.


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