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20 January 2017, 12:50 | Wayne Allen
Retired Marine General James Mattis is nominated to lead the Defense Department
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday that President-elect Donald Trump's nominees for defense and homeland security secretaries will be confirmed Friday as Democrats agreed to an expedited process to approve them on Inauguration Day.
"Trump's "terrific" nominees were unprepared, unknowledgeable [and] uncooperative in hearings this week-as President-Elect would say himself: sad", Blumenthal said in a tweet.
Still, having two or three nominees confirmed when Mr. Trump is sworn in Friday would be far fewer than the seven confirmed on both President Obama's first day in 2009 and President George W. Bush's first day in 2001.
And debate is expected to begin on the nomination of Mike Pompeo - a Republican congressman from Kansas - to head the Central Intelligence Agency.
Among those he listed were Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos' billions in wealth and unpaid $5 million election fine; Health Secretary nominee Rep. Tom Price's potential insider trading of medical stocks; new reports that Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin left millions of dollars of Cayman Island assets out of his techies disclosures, and Budget Director nominee Rep. Mick Mulvney's revelations that he didn't pay nanny taxes for four years. Lawmakers will have a chance to question the nominees, who must be confirmed by the Senate before they can take office.
"Let me be clear, Democrats will allow the confirmation and votes for nominees who have not been chosen by our party", Schumer said.
"It speaks volumes that the Democratic leadership won't work with us for the continuity of government", Spicer told reporters.
And he argued that those nominees have been slow to provide information that would allow Democrats to move more quickly.
Schumer said it's possible that other non-controversial nominees also could come up for a vote as early as Friday. Under a rules change orchestrated by Democrats when they held a Senate majority, his selections need just 50 votes to pass the Senate, not the 60 that used to be required for a nomination to advance in the Senate.
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