May 13th, 2009
04:50 AM ET
9 years ago

Obama Official Expected to be rejected by Senate Wednesday

WASHINGTON (CNN)– The Senate Democratic leadership is preparing to lose a vote Wednesday morning on the confirmation of David Hayes as Deputy Secretary of Interior. If that happens, it would be the first time Congress votes to reject one of President Obama’s nominees.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s spokesman Jim Manley tells CNN that Democrats believe Republicans will vote in lockstep to block Hayes’ nomination, and therefore, it will fail.

Republican objections to Hayes appear to have little to do with him or his qualifications, and more to do with an Obama administration policy.

Specifically, Utah Republican Robert Bennett has been leading his party’s opposition to Hayes because of an Obama decision to cancel oil and gas leases in Utah.

“This is not about Hayes,” Bennett spokeswoman Tara Hendershott tells CNN.

She says Bennett is blocking Hayes because the Department of Interior “has not provided any information he requested regarding the Secretary’s unilateral decision to cancel the oil and gas leases.”

If Republicans do successfully block Hayes’ nomination, it will be the starkest illustration yet of what it means for Democrats to have 59 seats – just one shy of a filibuster proof majority – as the Minnesota Senate race remains unresolved.

“The American people deserve better than political games that do nothing but waste their time. And the President deserves to have a complete lineup when his team takes the field on the most important issues we face,” Manley, Reid’s spokesman, says.

Manley says that if Hayes does in fact fail, as they expect, it is unclear whether the White House will pull his nomination, or try to find a way to revive it.

Filed under: President Obama • Republican
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. Alex in Wisconsin

    I hope this story isn't true. I'm seriously tired of working so hard to give the Republican party the benefit of the doubt, especially if they pull stunts like this. It's bad enough that the Republicans have no actual ideas of their own. its bad enough that the republicans are saying no to everything Obama puts forward for no better reason than because its not the way they would do it. It's bad enough that the republicans had their chance to improve the country and instead focused on improving their friend's pockets. It's bad enough that the republicans are now trying to redefine torture as a good thing and accusing Obama of working for the terrorists...

    its bad enough that this list is so long and I'm still leaving out so much such as the bigotry, the secessionist talk, the caring about the quality of human life only until the umbilical chord has been cut, wanting government out of people's lives while at the same time want the government to enforce a select few moral guidelines from the Bible while ignoring the rest....

    With a list this long and still going, it's bad enough that i'm still giving them any benefit of the doubt. but i can hope that they start acting right. But at this point, all i can say is, it's bad enough.

    May 13, 2009 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  2. Karen-Missouri

    Just another example of the ridiculous Republicans in Congress. They do NOT want this nation to succeed. They do not want to work with anyone other than another clueless Republican. They do not care about this county...only their "party". And the Cheney's are so unpatriotic and get Cheney's wife off the stage. As an independent I am so disgusted with any Republicans! Whine, obstruct the political process, obstruct any president other than their precious Republicans who got this country into the worst mess I've ever seen (I'm 60). But, let the Repubs bury themselves and wallow in their negative, fear-mongering...people are really tired of it.

    May 13, 2009 06:14 am at 6:14 am |
  3. grahame

    Well they can block it now but it's only a matter of time before the Democrats win a full majority. Democrats means Democracy. Republican means Sarah Palin

    May 13, 2009 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  4. Enlightened Voter

    The republicans sure are living up to being the party of NO. They could care less about this country, the middle class or the environment.

    May 13, 2009 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  5. Wiliam

    "Republican objections to Hayes appear to have little to do with him or his qualifications, and more to do with an Obama administration policy."

    Just more Republican obstructionism. Nothing new here; we're dealing with the same old, tired, and childish GOP. President Obama's policies are working and they can't stand it. Well, let Party of Failure enjoy it while they can. They probably won't have more than about 35 seats in the Senate after the next election.

    May 13, 2009 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  6. Fred NJ

    Isn't it too bad! The dems are getting a taste of their own medicine. Suck it up boys, and remember, Nancy knew nothing about this.

    May 13, 2009 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  7. D. Tree

    Once again, this obstacle to progress brought to you by the Party of No!

    The GOP even admits this is not about qualifications, but personal and petty vindictiveness. Why do they think voters will not punish them for this poor behavior and wast of our time?

    May 13, 2009 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  8. No Hope

    Obama wants to be DICTATOR of the FREE WORLD. Dont give it to him, he is stacking the deck in his favor. His administration is full of liers and cheats like Reid and Pelosi. Read the signs, Democrates for years said its the republicans, but look again the anti-christ is now in the white house.

    May 13, 2009 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  9. Sarah

    CNN, please make it clear that the Democrats are not going to "lose a vote" on Hayes – Republicans are going to filibuster so that there IS no vote.

    So much for potential appointees deserving an "up or down vote" like we heard so much when it was a Republican doing the appointing!

    May 13, 2009 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  10. Sharon Kitchen

    rep saying "no".........say it ian't what is new about this.

    Land stolen from the ideginous peoples.
    They live in 3rd world conditions.
    They still are alive.
    Now their ancestral lands will not have "drill baby drill"? want oil about in your back yard?
    or maybe in your family cemetary?

    Do not be upset...............that is what has been done ,at any given time and still happens today.

    Now . .....what is asahme...............the no, is not based on the mans qualifications.......................typical behavor from the rep.

    May 13, 2009 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  11. Lou from CT

    The Republicans continue to play partisan politics and whine, yell, and scream like yound children having a tantrum. And they wonder WHY they lost the Presidential election in 2008? Keep it up, Republicans, you guys will become has-beens before you know it.

    May 13, 2009 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  12. James G. in California

    Why doesn't Obama pull a Bush tactic and stunt by waiting for Congress to go on recess and appoint David Hayes as Deputy Secretary of Interior? While Congress is out on Memorial Day break or summer recess or whenever their next break is that congress takes.

    What comes around, goes around, what is fair play for one is fair play for another. In other words, "what is good for the goose is fair for the gander or something like that.

    That will fix their wagon, and fry their goose all at the same time with the “party of no”.

    The Wizard of OZ Rush, the leader of the GOP will have a field day on that one if it ever happened. Along with his side kick Cheney.

    Now that would be fun to watch and listen to, as the extreme right goes berserk. LOL!

    May 13, 2009 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  13. Mark C-USN Retired

    I find that the Party of "NO" does want Obama to fail and take the country down along with him. Obstructionism at it's worst.

    May 13, 2009 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  14. The Truth, Texas

    This shows that the some or most of the GOP only care about what brings them money. Bob wants to block the confirmation of a Deputy Secretary of Interior due to planned cancellation of oil and gas leases. What the Senator should be doing is find out why the leases are not been used. Oil companies have oil and gas leases pending that they do not want to use but but refuse to release it instead they want to drill offshore. I dare ask since the banned on offshore drilling has expired and not renewed, why have they not gone offshore to drill. And why has the GOP not insisted that the Oil copanies start drilling offshore as they were chanting during the primaries "Drill, Baby drill".
    Bob Bennet, you need to get off your high horse and do what you were elected to do.

    May 13, 2009 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  15. V

    wow! can the republicans sink any lower? It is disgusting.

    May 13, 2009 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  16. Gerda Edwards

    "Democrats believe Republicans will vote in lockstep"


    Like the Dems never vote in lockstep. But I will give them credit, since there was more Dem opposition to the $787B spending spree than there was Repub support for it. SO there's some hope for the Dems.

    May 13, 2009 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  17. R in Maine

    To quote: "Republican objections to Hayes appear to have little to do with him or his qualifications, and more to do with an Obama administration policy.

    Specifically, Utah Republican Robert Bennett has been leading his party’s opposition to Hayes because of an Obama decision to cancel oil and gas leases in Utah.

    Republican statements about what happens when the Dems get 60 may be right, but they are no more that what the Fascists deserve.

    May 13, 2009 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  18. Susan

    So nice to see Republicans voting in a political manner instead of on principles. This is why you are so out of touch with Americans!

    May 13, 2009 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  19. Kathy

    And the Grand Obstructionist Party strikes again! Keep digging your own grave boys!!!!

    May 13, 2009 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  20. Jean-Pierre E. Mbei

    Obviously, whether she wants it or not, Cheney, like her father, is desperate. And like Sarah Palin, she is trying to be some kind of republican star. But who really cares? She will need more than these nasty stabs at the president to gain ground. It is not because your father is Cheney, a Master Waterboarding, that you can steal the spotlight. Actually, in today"s world, being the son or daughter of Dick Cheney can prove a heavy liability.

    We are tired of these Soap Opera style talks about and from the Cheneys and Palins. America has got more important issues to deal with than this nonsensical discourse.


    May 13, 2009 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  21. Hopeful in America

    The Party of No is going to vote NO...again and again. It is not about Hayes, they's just one more chance to vote NO. That is the sum total of the GOP plan for America. Like my Mom used to say, "No...and I mean NO!"

    May 13, 2009 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  22. Keith in Austin

    So unless the GOP votes in favor of every Obama appointee, they are viewed as obstructionists. When eill this media-driven propaganda ever cease?

    May 13, 2009 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  23. JonDie

    As usual, the Republican strategy, whether from the inside or from the outside, is to make the government fail.

    May 13, 2009 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  24. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I knew eventually there will be a vote where the hold up of Sen. Franken would be used against the democrats. If I were the people of Minnesota, I would put Gov. Pawlenty in the hot seat for not ending this charade. A recount was done and there is a clear winner.

    May 13, 2009 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  25. Dawn

    so what else is new.

    May 13, 2009 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
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