May 13th, 2009
04:50 AM ET
5 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. Tom Meyer

    This vote by Senator Bennet of Utah clearly shows how unamerican the Republican party continues to use their own selfish motives to have the country fail to serve the real American people. Not one Republican voted for the stimulus bill in the house and only 3 brave Republican Americans vote for it in the Senate. No Republican voted for the new budget in the House and the Senate. As long as the Republican party continues to follow the leadership of Rush Limbaugh and Eric Cantor and Mitch McConnell and others who want this country to fail economically their party will continue the George Bush legacy of being the worst President and anti-American party in our history. The American people are told to be vigilant to any terrorist activity in our country, we should also be vigilant to those people who are wolves in sheeps clothing wanting to destroy our economic and democratic values.

    May 13, 2009 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  2. Terry from GA

    Not to worry. The republicans will pay for their decisions during the 2010 and 2012 elections. Everyone can clearly see what they are trying to do and that's why they're being called the party of "No".

    May 13, 2009 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  3. disgusted

    So, Bennett admits it is not about Hayes. More games by the Republicans...if you don't do what I want I will throw a little kid fit. I would like to see some work and not these stupid games. Perhaps Bennett could, I don't know, act like an adult and state his concerns and see what kind of response he gets. Or be a man and suck it up. You can't always get what you want.

    May 13, 2009 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  4. Thomas

    "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."

    And this is how decisions are made in congress folks.

    A Senator won't confirm an individual because another individual took pork out of his state.

    This might be funny, if it was not so pathetic.

    May 13, 2009 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  5. Sheryl

    I am so sick of these REPUBS!!!! They are not doing any work for the people none at all! The party of NO, HATE AND FEAR!!! oh GAMES!

    May 13, 2009 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  6. Will-South Dakota

    Another GOP morning in America-DENY, DELAY & DO NOTHING !!!

    May 13, 2009 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  7. Simmy

    "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."
    ************************************************************************
    I prefer to believe the above.....Republicans have been marching in lock-step from day one of the Obama administration.....They are acting like problem children.....There is no reason to believe they will change. I was all for bipartisanship on Jan. 20, '09....Now I feel that they deserve to be ignored.....

    May 13, 2009 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  8. Robin in SC

    If a nominee is going to be blocked, shouldn't it have something to do with that nominee's abilities or at least their politics? This is like GOP kindergarten...na na nana na

    May 13, 2009 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  9. Bob

    Can we just get rid of all the Republicans? Obama won, he gets to pick the people to administrator his policies like it or not. This types of games is why the just the world "Republican" makes people queasy now days.

    May 13, 2009 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  10. Mr. St. Louis

    The Party of NO strikes again.....

    It's all about trying to thwart our President. They have nothing to offer our country. We will not forget this come the 2010 and 2012 elections

    Good luck Republicans – you’re gonna’ need it.

    May 13, 2009 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  11. Robert in CT

    Republicans are using up any patience I have ever had for them. They should not bother asking for my vote again. I look for people to govern when I cast my vote, not for people to play games.

    May 13, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  12. Barbara Campbell

    The Republican party has certainly devolved into a bunch of nasty 8-year-olds.

    May 13, 2009 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  13. kimberly

    Typical republicans. can anyone say they are surprised by this?They operate on bitterness, and pay back mode. They are losing SO badly because Americans have no tolerance for this petty ignorant abuse of power. I can NOT wait until they are all outa the senate. They are not real Americans, but childish, vindictive jerks! Shame on them!

    May 13, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  14. Wake up people

    Ridiculous. The Republicans say it themselves – this has nothing to do with Hayes – so knock it off and leave him out of it. Republicans need to stop making a spectacle out of every cabinet appointment. They need to face facts – Americans voted for change and part of that change relates to changes in energy policy. I believe the party of "Drill baby, drill" lost the election – by a landslide. But I guess Republicans will always be the party of the oil industry and big business first, people second. Republicans have been out of power for all of 114 days and their persistent tantrums are already wearing thin. If Mr. Bennett wants to oppose this nomination, well then fine – but since when do all of the other Republican senators represent Utah?

    May 13, 2009 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  15. No Incumbents 2010

    The extreme partisanship displayed by GOP Senators knows no bounds. The GOP is setting a terrible precedent for the time when a Republican president sends nominees to the Senate for confirmation.

    May 13, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  16. JB

    the party of no ideas strikes again

    May 13, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  17. Chipster

    Since this is not about Hayes' qualifications, and is simply a temper tantrum and pouting session, it proves that the people were correct to overwhelmingly reject the Republican Party in the last election. If the GOP wants to survive as a Party, I suggest they send adults to represent them instead of these childish, "my way or the highway" bullies.

    May 13, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  18. Gus The Willie

    The Keystone Cops (Republicans) are at it again. After Cheney's buddies at Haliburton and other gluttonous oil companies got their way under King George, does alternative energy sources mean nothing to them? Utah is not anywhere near being an oil producing state that will bank on enjoying their status as being prime producers for the 21st Century. It seems like they are so disillusion on living a bygone era. It's a shame to see Utah being pumped for oil that could barely make a dent the state's economy. Utah would be best serve to explore the concept of alternative energy sources.

    May 13, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  19. Ed from the western slope of Colorado

    Typical republican stonewalling. They really have earned the name"Party of No". Golly whiz, if the dems had done the same to little bush, the repubs would have had such a fit. Pooor babiies.

    May 13, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  20. Matt

    At least they admit they are obstructionists for no good reason.

    May 13, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  21. Eugene

    The party of "just say no" strikes again.

    May 13, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  22. AndrewW

    Obstructionists anyone?

    May 13, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  23. George

    Party of NO. Doesn't surprise me. Whatever Rush wants!

    May 13, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  24. Kevin Austin

    I agree we have a long ways to go

    May 13, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  25. phyllicia

    Just another look at how politics is playing out in the USA. If the man's qualifications aren't in question then the job should be his w/o opposition

    May 13, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
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