PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Business Coalition Letter Urging Accelerated and “Timely” Confirmation of Pending Nominations

By at 3 August, 2017, 4:37 pm

The Honorable Mitch McConnell                               The Honorable Charles Schumer

Majority Leader                                                             Minority Leader

317 Russell Senate Office Building                             322 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510                                                Washington, DC 20510

 

Dear Leader McConnell and Leader Schumer,

As associations representing businesses of all industries, forms, and sizes in all 50 states, we urge the Senate to take expeditious steps to ensure the timely confirmation of qualified pending nominees to administration positions.

The slow pace of confirmations is depriving agencies across the government of critical leadership and in the case of independent agencies, the quorum necessary to conduct critical business.

The breakdown of the confirmation process results in a breakdown in the efficient and effective functioning of government and ultimately to a drag on the economy. Workers are sidelined as projects await permits from agencies that lack the quorum necessary to issue the permit. Businesses are left waiting for important administrative decisions that simply cannot be made in the absence of Senate-confirmed officials.

Specifically, we are concerned about the new practice in the Senate of subjecting even non-controversial nominees to the time-consuming cloture process, which is creating unnecessary and unprecedented delay in what is already a prolonged process.

Through August 2, of President Trump’s 283 executive and judicial nominations, only 67 have been confirmed. Of those 67, only 13 were confirmed by voice vote or unanimous consent, while 37 (55%) were confirmed only after going through the cloture process.  By way of comparison, at approximately the same point in President Obama’s first term, the Senate had confirmed 206 nominees, 182 by voice vote or unanimous consent. Only eight (4%) of President Obama’s nominees were forced to go through the cloture process.

On August 2, over 80 nominees to administration positions have been reported favorably by the committee of jurisdiction but were awaiting Senate confirmation. In some instances nominees have been waiting for confirmation by the full Senate for two months or more despite being approved by committee of jurisdiction unanimously.

By one estimate, at the current rate, it will take 11 years to confirm all of the president’s nominees to executive branch positions.

We urge the Senate to immediately resume the prior practices of deferring to the vetting of nominees conducted by the committees of jurisdiction, confirming non-controversial nominees expeditiously by voice vote or unanimous consent, and the spare use of forcing cloture on nominees.

Sincerely,

Aerospace Industries Association

Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute

Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers

America Petroleum and Convenience Store Association

America’s SBDCs

American Bakers Association

American Bankers Association

American Beverage Association

American Council of Engineering Companies

American Exploration & Production Council

American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers

American Gaming Association

American Gas Association

American Hotel & Lodging Association

American International Automobile Dealers Association

American Investment Council

American Iron and Steel Institute

American Land Title Association

American Petroleum Institute

American Public Gas Association

American Road and Transportation Builders Association

American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association

American Staffing Association

American Trucking Associations

Asian American Hotel Owners Association

Associated Builders & Contractors

Associated General Contractors of America

Association of American Railroads

Association of Oil Pipe Lines

Auto Care Association

Automatic Merchandising Association

Corn Refiners Association

Council for Responsible Nutrition

Edison Electric Institute

Electronic Transactions Association

Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance

Entertainment Software Association

Federation of American Hospitals

Financial Services Roundtable

Food Marketing Institute

Independent Electrical Contractors

Independent Petroleum Association of America

Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries

Insured Retirement Institute

International Association of Geophysical Contractors

International Franchise Association

International Warehouse Logistics Association

Interstate Natural Gas Association of America

Metals Service Center Institute

Midsize Bank Coalition of America

Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association

National Association for Surface Finishing

National Association for the Self-Employed

National Association of Chain Drug Stores

National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD)

National Association of Home Builders

National Association of Manufacturers

National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies

National Association of Professional Employer Organizations

National Association of the Remodeling Industry

National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors

National Council of Chain Restaurants

National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA)

National Foreign Trade Council

National Grocers Association

National Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association

National Mining Association

National Music Publishers’ Association

National Ocean Industries Association

National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA)

National Restaurant Association

National Retail Federation

National Roofing Contractors Association

National Small Business Association

National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association

Natural Gas Supply Association

Plastics Industry Association

Portland Cement Association

Retail Industry Leaders Association

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

Southwest Cable Communications Association

The Fertilizer Institute

The Latino Coalition

TRSA – The Linen, Uniform and Facility Services Association

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

U.S. Oil & Gas Association

U.S. Travel Association

United States Council for International Business

Western Electrical Contractors Association

Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America

 

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