This might be aptly described as throwing one’s own words back at their face – literally.
The Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, has acquired a letter Mitch McConnell wrote in 2009 to then Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid. The letter outlines McConnell’s criterea for what he considered then to be a reasonable process for confirmation hearings. Now the tables have turned, and Democrats are facing an unprecedented situation in which multiple confirmation hearings are being scheduled on the same day, many for nominees who have yet to have their basic paperwork filled out and filed.
According to Yahoo News, Schumer highlighted his frustration with the “jammed” schedule. “Schumer also pointed out that the director of the Office of Government Ethics has raised concerns about the pace of the hearings and said some of the nominees have not undergone reviews. ‘We’re not doing this for sport. Democrats feel very strongly that pushing for a thorough and thoughtful vetting process is the right thing to do,’ Schumer said, later adding, ‘Our caucus was and is concerned about the timely completion of the standard paperwork and ethics clearance for nominees before proceeding full-steam ahead with their confirmation hearings and votes.’ “
Schumer held the original letter up in front of the Senate, with McConnell’s name hand-written in where Reid’s name had been crossed out. He went on to say, “I don’t bring this up to play ‘Gotcha.’ I’m doing it to show that our requests are eminently reasonable, and in fact have been shared by leaders of both parties. I plan to return the exact same letter to my friend the Majority Leader with the same requests. In 2009, the then-Minority Leader called these benchmarks ‘common sense standards’ and “longstanding practices. I agree with him.”
McConnell responded by saying the Democrats’ “little procedural complaints” amounted to “sour grapes.”
See the letter below:
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 9, 2017