Tuesday, Senate Committees vote on Trump’s nominees to head Education and the Department of Justice.
DAY 11 ACTION: Call your Senators on the Judiciary Committee and tell them to vote NO on Jeff Sessions. BONUS ACTION: Call your Senators on the HELP Committee and tell them to vote NO on Betsy DeVos.
The President’s top advisors – the heads of 15 agencies (plus the Vice President) – are known as the Cabinet. Under the Constitution, the President nominates Cabinet members but the Senate must confirm them. Nominees are first vetted by a Senate Committee; if the Committee votes in favor of a nominee, he or she “goes to the floor” for a full vote in the U.S. Senate. Tuesday, Senate Committees vote on two Trump Cabinet officials:
- The Judiciary Committee will vote on Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General. In 1986, a Republican-controlled Senate rejected Jeff Sessions, then the U.S. Attorney for Alabama, for a federal judgeship, because of his poor record on civil rights and testimony by an African-American Deputy U.S. Attorney that Sessions referred to him as “boy”. Since becoming a U.S. Senator, Sessions has a 7% “environmental voting score”. He voted against improvements to the Violence Against Women Act; publicly denounced the federal law that allows “mainstreaming” of children with disabilities; opposed the Supreme Court decision legalising gay marriage; and called the Supreme Court’s invalidation of parts of the Voting Rights Act “good news … for the South”. He is extremely anti-choice, and supports Trump’s Muslin ban policy.
- The Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor & Pensions) Committee will vote on Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. We discussed her lack of experience with public schools on DAY 4. Her Committee vote was delayed after an ethics review identified 100 potential conflicts of interest between her business interests and the work of the Department of Education. And let’s not forget her position that school officials need guns to protect children from grizzly bears.
** If you have access to a computer tomorrow at 9:30 am, you can live-stream the Judiciary vote on Jeff Sessions from the Committee website. At 10 am eastern standard time, you can live-stream the HELP hearing on CSPAN.**
Today’s action: If you have a Senator on the Judiciary Committee, call the Senate (202-224-3121), ask for your Senator’s office, and tell them to vote no on Jeff Sessions.
JUDICIARY COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Grassley (R-IA) (Chairman); Feinstein (D-CA) (top Democrat on the Committee); Blumenthal (D-CT); Coons (D-DE); Cornyn (R-TX); Crapo (R-ID); Cruz (R-TX); Durbin (D-IL); Flake (R-AZ); Franken (D-MN); Graham (R-SC); Hatch (R-UT); Hirono (D-HI); Kennedy (R-LA); Klobuchar (D-MN); Leahy (D-VT); Lee (R-UT); Sasse (R-NE); Tillis (R-NC); Whitehouse (D-RI)
Today’s BONUS action: Senator Franken announced that no Democrat on the Committee plans to vote for DeVos. If you have a Democratic Senator on the HELP Committee, call and thank them for voting no! If you have a Republican Senator on the Committee, ask them to join their colleagues in voting no on Betsy DeVos. WE KNOW! This was the DAY 4 ACTION! And those calls helped delay her vote; this call could convince a Senator to vote NO!
HELP COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Alexander (R-TN) (Chairman); Murray (D-WA) (top Democrat on the Committee); Baldwin (D-WI); Bennet (D-CO); Burr (R-NC); Casey (D-PA); Cassidy (R-LA); Collins (R-ME); Enzi (R-WY); Franken (D-MN); Hatch (R-UT); Hassan (D-NH); Isakson (R-GA); Kaine (D-VA); Murkowski (R-AK); Murphy (D-CT); Paul (R-KY); Roberts (R-KS); Sanders (D-VT); Scott (R-SC); Warren (D-MA); Whitehouse (D-RI); and Young (R-IN).