Senate Confirmations. By Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt
Excerpt: Let’s turn back the clock to January 2009, when there were just 41 Republicans in the Senate. The number of Democrats steadily increased as Roland Burris joined on January 15, Arlen Specter switched to the Democratic party at the end of April, and Al Franken’s election wasn’t settled until the end of June. Hillary Clinton was confirmed as Secretary of State, 94 votes in favor, 2 opposed. Eric Holder was confirmed as Attorney General, 75 votes in favor, 21 opposed. Kathleen Sebelius was confirmed as Health and Human Services Secretary, 65 votes to 31 opposed. Tim Geithner, who ran into some trouble over unpaid taxes, was confirmed, 60 votes in favor, 34 opposed. Looking back, Republicans concentrated their objections to just a few of Obama’s selections. The Senate confirmed seven Obama nominees the day he was inaugurated, another five within his first week in office, and 13 were confirmed via voice vote without any recorded opposition. Senate Democrats plan a very different approach: Democratic senators plan to aggressively target eight of Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees in the coming weeks and are pushing to stretch their confirmation votes into March — an unprecedented break with Senate tradition.