After President Barack Obama nominated Dr. Vivek Murthy to be the next Surgeon General of the United States, a man described by the New York Times as “an internist and political ally,” Texas Senator Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and the National Rifle Association are joining forces to block the approval of the nomination according to statements they made to Breitbart Texas.
In late February, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) engaged a procedural process known as “a hold” to stop the nomination from moving forward. According to a report in Fox News, Senator Reid, “could still technically move forward [on the nomination] and a Reid spokesman suggested the majority leader would not sit on Murthy’s nomination simply over Paul’s objections.”
Sen. Paul does not stand alone in his opposition to the nomination. When contacted about the matter by Breitbart Texas, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) responded, “The President has the opportunity to nominate a serious candidate to serve as the nation’s Surgeon General and fulfill the important responsibility of educating Americans on best practices to lead healthier lives. Instead, he’s put forward a political operative with a clear agenda to restrict Americans’ Second Amendment rights. I’ll firmly oppose his nomination.”
Senate Republicans are joined by the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) objections to Murthy and all of the political capital that comes with that. In an exclusive interview with Breitbart Texas, Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, said, “We’ve seen the President surround himself with rabid gun control activists… But, there are certain positions that shouldn’t be filled with partisan ideologues.”
In describing the Surgeon General position, Cox said, “This is an individual who leads the discussion on medical issues, leads the discussion on eating well, and exercise and living long lives. And what we have with this individual is literally, not just a gun-control supporter, but a gun-control activist. He’s 36-years-old and he wants to treat a constitutional right as a disease.”
Cox firmly stated, “That’s just something the National Rifle Association is going to sit on the sidelines and watch happen. So, we’re going to fight this nomination and we’re going to try to take this confirmation down.”
As to the hold placed on the nomination by Sen. Paul, Cox explained, “Unfortunately, the holds don’t mean a whole lot since Senator Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) just decided to ignore two hundred years’ worth of tradition and from 60 to 51 [votes needed for confirmation]. And so the question becomes, are there a solid group of Republicans who will oppose the nominee and can you make it up with other Democrats who are either willing to listen to the National Rifle Association because they happen to be up for re-election or listen to their constituents because it’s an important issue.”
“That’s how we are hoping to pull together enough United States Senators to block this nomination,” Cox concluded.
At this time, both Texas senators have been vocal critics when fighting against Obama nominees. Recently, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) led an effort to block another Obama nominee. In that case, President Obama nominated Debo Adegbile to head the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, even though Adegbile had previously advocated for a former Black Panther who killed Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.
The New York Times reported that no more than six Democrats would be needed to join ranks with Republicans to stop the nomination. During confirmation hearings in the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, only one Republican, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) voted yes to send the nomination to the Senate floor for a full vote for confirmation. Sen. Reid has yet to schedule that vote.
Follow Bob Price on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX