Nov 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

GOP Sen. Jim Risch criticizes Republican blockade of Biden's nominees

Idaho Sen. Jim Risch. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Idaho Sen. Jim Risch, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Saturday criticized a blockade by some in his party of President Biden's top diplomatic picks, Politico reports.

Driving the news: Biden has more than 50 foreign policy nominations stalling in the Senate, per Politico. Republican Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Josh Hawley (Mo.) have stalled confirmations using the chamber's unanimous consent rule in protest of Biden's national security decisions.

  • The delays have frustrated the Biden administration, which has argued that the tactic is hurting national security interests.

What they're saying: "I have been a critic of this since I started on the Foreign Relations Committee," Risch said during a talk at the Halifax International Security Forum, per Politico. "I was a governor. I understand you have to have a team in place in order to govern."

  • “This is a political matter,” he added. "We went through the same thing in the Trump administration."
  • Risch said he has been “as energetic as I can" about confirming the nominations.

Worth noting: The Idaho senator did not name Hawley and Cruz, saying, “They’re not here to defend themselves, so I’m not going to defend them either.”

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