Sen. Tom Cotton: Democrats ‘Broke the Rules’ to Move Gupta Nomination Forward

Associate Attorney General nominee Vanita Gupta speaks during an event with President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Sen. Tom Cotton warned of consequences for Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats after he stated they “broke the rules” to advance the nomination of Vanita Gupta to serve as Associate Attorney General.

“I have to observe something independent of Ms. Gupta herself,” Cotton said in a speech Thursday. “The discharge petition filed today requires that there had been a valid, tied vote in committee. That is the rule that we all agreed on at the beginning of this Congress.”

“Yet, Ms. Gupta still has not received a valid vote in the Committee,” Cotton added. “In fact, during the markup of her nomination, just minutes into my 15-minute remarks, the chairman of the Committee cut off my remarks mid-sentence and called for a vote in violation of the Committee’s rules.”

Cotton continued, noting that “allowing members to finish their statements —guaranteed to under the Committee’s rules—have somehow become inconvenient for the scheduling preferences of our Democratic colleagues,” suggesting that the “Committee’s meeting had been mismanaged and they were worried about the two-hour rule.”

Cotton also stated that another Republican senator was not even afforded the time to speak. Cotton said:

And it wasn’t just me, my remarks were interrupted, but at least one Republican senator didn’t have an opportunity to speak at all. The Democrats simply broke the rules and voted out Ms. Gupta’s nomination not in accordance with Judiciary Committee rules. There must be consequences when the Democrats break the rules.

In an effort to fight back against Democrat efforts to bend the rules, Cotton said he would refuse to allow consent or time agreements for the nomination of U.S. Attorneys from any state with a Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. Cotton said:

And here’s what the consequences are going to be in this case: I will refuse consent or time agreements for the nomination of any U.S. Attorney from any state represented by a Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. What we need to have is a valid vote in committee in accordance with the committee rules. Not ramming through this nomination today.

Last month, Cotton grilled Gupta for her record serving under former President Barack Obama’s administration and her response to the ongoing debate of whether biological men who consider themselves transgender women should be allowed to compete against female athletes in high schools and colleges.

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