- The Washington Times - Monday, June 5, 2017

President Trump accused Senate Democrats on Monday of blocking his nominees — particularly ambassadorships — from confirmation, issuing yet another Twitter challenge to Capitol Hill.

But Democrats fired back, saying the problem is that Mr. Trump has been slow in sending nominees over to Capitol Hill for action, and it’s up to him to get the ball rolling.

It’s the latest flare-up in a relationship that has only deteriorated over the first four months of Mr. Trump’s presidency.

“Dems are taking forever to approve my people, including Ambassadors. They are nothing but OBSTRUCTIONISTS! Want approvals,” Mr. Trump tweeted amid an outburst that spanned everything from the latest London terror attack to gun control to criticizing how his own Justice Department has mounted the legal defense of his extreme vetting policies.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer fired back, saying Mr. Trump has been the problem. He said there are more than 500 positions that require Senate confirmation, and Mr. Trump has only nominated 63.

Another 24 have been nominated but aren’t officially before the Senate, and 15 others have been announced but not formally nominated, Mr. Schumer said. Just 39 have been confirmed.

Mr. Schumer defended his party’s pace as an important check on Mr. Trump.

“It was the Senate’s responsibility to give a thorough vetting for such important positions, with many of the nominees having conflicts of interest and incomplete ethics agreements when they were named. President Trump ought to roll up his sleeves and get to work rather than pointing false fingers of blame,” the New York Democrat said.

He also pointed to a number of picks Mr. Trump announced then canceled, including his original Labor Department secretary and two different names for secretary of the Army.

Republicans chided Mr. Schumer for initially getting his numbers wrong, skipping over 24 nominations Mr. Trump has made.

And the GOP said those confirmations Mr. Schumer is touting only came after a series of roadblocks erected by Democrats on Capitol Hill. More than 60 percent of the president’s picks have faced Democratic-led filibusters, and his Cabinet saw the largest number of “No” votes of any president in modern history.

Democrats have used parliamentary tactics to try to delay many of Mr. Trump’s appointments, asking for delays in committee and forcing filibuster voters on the Senate floor.

Mr. Trump’s solicitor general and two other high-profile Justice Department appointments have been awaiting a vote in the Judiciary Committee for weeks, with Democrats exercising their right under committee rules to demand a delay.

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