- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 24, 2017

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Tuesday urged Democrats to stop “playing politics” with President Trump’s Cabinet nominees, as a few of Mr. Trump’s picks are set to head to Capitol Hill to face confirmation hearings.

“We would prefer some of the Democrats stop playing politics with our Cabinet nominees. We have not been given the same deference in just the same sheer numbers that President Obama and even President George W. Bush had at this point in their early presidencies,” Ms. Conway said on “Fox & Friends.”

The Senate has confirmed three of Mr. Trump’s major Cabinet-level picks thus far. Defense Secretary James Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly were confirmed on Friday and CIA Director Mike Pompeo was confirmed on Monday.

“They’re slow-walking some of these very qualified, brilliant men and women,” Ms. Conway said. “I agree with President Trump when he says this is probably the highest I.Q. Cabinet in history.”

“They’re slow-walking them in part to humiliate them and in part, I think, just to have the lethargy of government to which they’re accustomed,” she said. “But we need a fully-functioning government.”

“Please, go ahead and approve, confirm our nominees for treasury, for commerce, for education,” Ms. Conway said.

Rep. Tom Price, Mr. Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, is scheduled to testify before the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday. Mr. Price has already appeared before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP).

Two other Senate panels are scheduled to hold confirmation hearings for Rep. Mick Mulvaney, who is Mr. Trump’s pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Mr. Mulvaney is likely to face questioning about more than $15,000 in payroll taxes he failed to initially pay for a household employee more than a decade ago. Such tax oversights have derailed the nominations of Cabinet-level picks in the past.

The Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship is also scheduled to hear from pro-wrestling magnate Linda McMahon, who is Mr. Trump’s pick to be the next administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA).

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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