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    In this May 4, 2017, file photo, the U.S. flag flies in front of the Capitol dome on Capitol Hill in Washington

    US Senate Republicans Plan to Limit Democrat Delays Confirming Trump Nominees

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Senate Republicans on Wednesday are planning a permanent rule change that would shorten the time allowed for Democrats to stall consideration of nominations submitted by President Donald Trump, Senator Roy Blunt told reporters on Monday.

    "Tomorrow in the Rules Committee we will mark up the rule that would return us to the time limits that the Senate had in 2013 and 2014," Blunt stated while flanked by other Senate Republican leaders.

    Blunt noted that 78 senators voted in 2013 to approve a rule limiting debate on most nominees submitted by then-President Barack Obama to eight hours for senior officials in cabinet-level departments and two hours for District Court judges.

    That rule expired with the end of the 113th Congress at the beginning of 2015, but Blunt said this time the rule change would be permanent.

    If approved, a Senate vote on US Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo expected later this week could be the first taken under the new rules.

    "Mike Pompeo should be confirmed, he should be confirmed quickly," Senator John Thune said. "It is only partisan politics [by] the Democrats that are slowing down this entire process to try to prevent President Trump from putting his team together."

    Barrasso said at the current pace, it would take more than nine years to approve all Trump nominees for positions such as federal judgeships, ambassadors and senior agency officials including Cabinet secretaries.

    Barasso added that Democrats’ use of the full 30 hours of debate allowed under present Senate rules — even for non-controversial nominees — makes it impossible for lawmakers to deal with a backlog of pending legislation.

    The proposed rule change would retain the 30-hours allowed for debate on US Supreme Court and Appellate Court nominees.


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