The presidential election is still unsettled, but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has called for confirmation hearings to begin for self-proclaimed president-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet picks before his presumptive inauguration.
Even in case Biden wins the election, confirming his Cabinet nominees before he is sworn in as president on Jan. 20, 2021 at noon would be unconstitutional.
But during a speech on Capitol Hill on Monday, Nov. 30, Schumer made a case for a coup in Congress, saying Senate hearings on Biden’s Cabinet nominees should begin immediately after the run-off elections in Georgia on Jan. 5, 2021, allowing for the confirmation on Biden’s Inauguration Day and soon thereafter.
“Everybody knows the Senate plays a pivotal role in confirming a new president’s Cabinet,” Schumer said. “In the midst of this once-in-a-century crisis, it’s imperative the next administration can count on the Senate to confirm its Cabinet without delay.”
“Hearings on President-elect Biden’s nominees should begin in January immediately after the Georgia runoff elections,” Schumer said of the two elections on Jan. 5, which will decide Democratic Party or Republican Party controls the Senate.
BREAKING: Sen. Schumer says Senate should begin confirmation hearings for Biden’s Cabinet BEFORE inauguration:
“In the midst of this once-in-a-century crisis, it’s imperative the next administration can count on the Senate to confirm its cabinet without delay” pic.twitter.com/ZcFJXbwKSa
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) November 30, 2020
Schumer was overlooking the fact that Biden is not “president-elect” until he is recognized by the Electoral College. President Trump’s re-election campaign is mounting legal challenges to Biden’s media-declared victory based on allegations of fraud.
Despite that fact, Schumer said the Senate should “follow precedent,” arguing that Senate committees began hearings on Cabinet nominees for past presidents-elect.
“The Senate should follow precedent and hold hearings on President-elect Biden’s nominees in January immediately after the Georgia elections, before inauguration,” Schumer said.
President Trump had only two Cabinet picks confirmed on day one of his administration in 2017, compared with six for President Obama in 2009 and seven for President George W. Bush in 2001.