Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wants the upper house to stay in session until all of the 49 currently pending judicial appointments are confirmed.
A tweet from Grassley, R- Iowa, on Thursday came just hours after the committee cleared eight more judicial nominees to the full Senate ,and puts Democrats in a bind over whether to stay in Washington to fight the confirmations or head out on the campaign trail to defend vulnerable seats ahead of the midterms.
“Lots of work to do,” Grassley tweeted. “Senate [should] stay in session til all 49 judges are CONFIRMED/ work comes [before] campaigning.”
Both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., have been at odds over finishing up nominees, with neither side willing to budge much following the grueling confirmation process of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
McConnell was expected on Thursday to begin setting up votes on the judges and executive branch nominees for next week. While it is unclear for how many of the 49 picks McConnell plans to seek a pre-election deal with Schumer, the majority leader recently confirmed to Politico that he plans to follow his victory on Kavanaugh with more judicial confirmations before the midterms.
There’s also speculation that McConnell is intentionally being obstinate in an effort to keep vulnerable Democratic senators off the campaign trail this fall.
The fight over Kavanaugh has “energized our base like nothing else we’ve been able to come up with,” McConnell said. “If you look at where the competitive Senate races are, many of them are in states where this makes a huge difference.”
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