The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has been sidelined for months leading up to the presidential election because it lost its quorum. But a hearing Tuesday to fill a seat on the FEC with Trey Trainor, a Texas election lawyer, a new appointee from President Donald Trump, sparked a fierce push back from Democrats.. They were upset with Trump’s handling of the vacancies and the nominee’s views on election law.
The Democrats are furious with a break in the tradition by the White House and Senate Republicans, which typically sees a bipartisan pair of nominees advanced together instead of just one nominee. The fight drew both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Shumer to the hearing room of the Senate Rules Committee for an unusual battle of words off the Senate floor.
But Trainor’s nomination seems on track even in the face of the Democratic opposition. Republicans who spoke on the panel, as well as McConnell seemed supportive of the nominee. Texas GOP Senator Ted Cruz had been slated to introduce Mr. Trainor, but due to Mr. Cruz’s self-quarantining, after coming in contact with a person infected with the coronavirus, was unable to make the introduction.
“I reject the notion that we must rush to confirm just anybody to the post, ” Shumer said at Tuesday’s hearing. He also said the record of Mr. Trainor raises significant questions about his ability to carry out the commission’s anti corruptionmandate. But McConnell said, “confirming Mr Trainor will restore and even balance between the two parties appointees and I am optimistic we will be able to move forward with this nominee.”
Mr. Trainor had previously served as counsel for Trump’s campaign and the RNC. Mr. Trainor would fill Republican commissioner Matthew Peterson’s seat,who left for a job at a law firm. The term would end in 2023.
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