Daines Blasts Democrats for Holding Up Zinke Confirmation

U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senator Steve Daines today took to the Senate floor to blast Democrat obstructionist tactics that have resulted in the slowest cabinet confirmation for a President since George Washington.

Click HERE to watch Daines’ remarks.

Click HERE to download Daines’ remarks. 

Daines’ remarks are below: 

“Let me share the bad news. 

“Just this morning, Leader McConnell came down here to move Congressman Zinke’s nomination to be Secretary of Interior – debate his nomination on the floor, let’s have unanimous consent, let’s get that done. Guess what? The Democrats objected. Why?

“Montanans are frustrated by the fact that my friend, my colleague – Ryan Zinke and I went to Boys State together in 1979, he from Whitefish High School, I from Bozeman High School to Dillon, Montana for Boys State. He will be the first cabinet appointee in the history of the state of Montana going back to statehood of 1889. And the Democrats are blocking us from getting that done today for no good reason. He passed with a bipartisan vote of 16-6 in the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. He’s going to be an outstanding addition to President Trump’s cabinet. 

“And I don’t understand why that’s being blocked – we can get that done here this afternoon, let’s get it done now. 

“Instead Ryan Zinke is being stopped from assuming his position as Secretary of the Interior. And guess what? We’ve got a long list of things to do at Interior. 

“I’m the Chairman of the National Parks Subcommittee. We’ve got a backlog of maintenance we’ve got to get Zinke in place now to strengthen our national parks. 

“He’s going to be a great addition. 

“I’m pleading with my colleagues, I’m asking why? Give me a good reason why you’re objecting to moving Congressman Zinke’s nomination forward now. Why are you holding up this historic vote for Montana?  This will be the longest a President has waited for his team to be in place since George Washington. 

“It is ridiculous. 

“We need a Secretary of Interior who is a westerner. One who also understands that Montana is a balance of Merle Haggard and John Denver.  A Secretary who understands that in Montana our largest neighbor is the federal government.  And a Secretary understands how important our National Parks are for us and for the six million of folks who visit them every year.  Ryan Zinke is the guy for the job.  But we can’t even have a vote. 

“So we wait 

“We wait on the Democrats political games to unfold.

“We wait for the Democrats political posturing. 

“We wait on the next Democrats delay tactic. 

“We wait for the democrats to stop these reindeer games and vote to put this President’s team in place.”

As a scheduling notice, at 7:00PM on Monday, February 27th, the Senate will proceed to a roll call vote on confirmation of Executive Calendar #3, Wilbur L. Ross, Jr., of Florida, to be Secretary of Commerce. 

Following the disposition of the Ross nomination, the Senate will proceed to a roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on Executive Calendar #8, Ryan Zinke, of Montana, to be Secretary of the Interior.