McConnell Gets Into Standoff With Top Republican

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) continues his standoff with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) over two nominees that have been backed by his party’s leader in the Senate.

Hawley continues his standoff even though many of his colleagues including Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee senior Republican Sen. Ted Cruz (TX) who has been pushing for the vacancies in the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to be filled.

Currently, Hawley is holding the nominations of former McConnell chief counsel Andrew Ferguson for the FTC and former McConnell campaign aide Todd Inman who has been nominated to the NTSB.

Originally, the Senate had attempted to confirm the two to fill the Republican vacancies at the end of last year, however Hawley in a December 20th letter stated that the two nominees needed to be vetted more thoroughly, and proceeded to block the nominations. In particular, he pointed out that if the GOP is intending to allow for dozens of Biden nominees to be selected in exchange for a handful of Republican nominees then they needed to ensure that the GOP nominees were going to be the correct ones.

The Missouri senator blocked the nominations after he criticized McConnell for stripping an amendment he had been the sponsor of from the annual defense authorization bill. The amendment would have expanded the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act to cover those in the St. Louis area who might have been exposed to nuclear waste that was improperly stored and had been left over from the Manhattan Project.

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