Senate Democrats Give Up Delay Tactics, Confirm Rick Perry for Energy Sec. 67-32

Rick Perry Confirmed AP
Capitol Hill

Senate Democrats gave up their plan to slow-walk President Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees Thursday when they yielded the floor and allowed Republicans to bring the confirmation of former Texas governor Rick Perry to the floor, where it passed 62-32.

At or around 1:30 p.m., the Majority Whip Sen. John Cornyn came to the floor as senators were giving remarks about Perry and asked for unanimous consent that the debate be considered over and the vote would be held at 1:45 p.m.

A great deal of Senate business is conducted by unanimous consent, and Cornyn would not have taken the floor without getting the go-ahead from the Democrats.

When the roll call came, 10 Democrats joined 51 Republicans and Maine’s Independent Sen. Angus King in supporting Perry to lead the Energy Department.

Speaking on the Senate floor in favor of Perry, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R.-Alaska) said Perry’s tenure as the governor of the Lone Star State was an excellent preparation of the job of Energy Secretary.

People think of Texas as an oil state, but under Perry’s leadership, the energy produced from Texas has become more diverse, she said.

“His leadership, there in the State of Texas–that state now leads our nation in producing more wind energy than all but five other countries,” she said.

“Perry guided a large, diverse, and very complex state government to economic success, again, when we’re talking about states, Alaska is always out there bragging about our size, but if Texas were its own country, it would be the 12th largest economy in the world,” she said.

The Perry vote marks a change in tactics by Senate Democrats, who have been insisting that before most of Trump’s cabinet nominees are brought to the floor for a vote, senators exhaust all 30 hours of required debate. The tactic has frayed the collegial nature of the upper chamber and led to a number of early morning and late night votes, because the Republicans have insisted on holding votes as soon as the 30-hour clock expires.

A senior Republican Senate aide told Breitbart News the Democrats are confused about what to do.

Senate Democrats bounce from target to target, not sure which one to stick with, the source said.

The Perry confirmation vote was expected Friday at 1 p.m., and the Senate leadership has not announced its plans to continue to work through Trump’s appointees.