The Senate Must Swiftly Confirm Russ Vought

October 25, 2017
Washington, DC
Signatures updated 12/17/17

Conservatives have expressed concern over the Senate’s slow pace in confirming President Trump’s nominees.  At first, it seemed that this was a tactic of Senator Schumer and his loyal Democrats.  Then, it seemed that Republican Leader McConnell was responsible by reducing Senate work schedules to 2.5 days a week.

Now, even the mainstream media reports that some of these nominees are being blocked from consideration by members of the President’s own party.  Specifically, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) is refusing to allow consideration of the nomination of deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Russ Vought, who is a veteran of Capitol Hill and formerly staffed Vice President Pence when he was in Congress, in addition to working for former Sen. Phil Gramm, and Rep. Jeb Hensarling, both Texans.  Cornyn’s hold should be concerning to conservatives for the following reasons.

First, Sen. Cornyn is a member of Republican Senate leadership and it is his job to aid the President of his own party to confirm qualified nominees. Vought is more than qualified for the position — indeed, Cornyn has raised no objection to Vought’s ability to perform in the role to which he is nominated. He is a conservative held in the highest esteem by his peers. He has an unquestioned record of expertise in budget and policy issues combined with his history of honorable service in key roles in the House and Senate.  Without a substantive objection to the nominee’s qualifications, President Trump should expect the Senate’s Republican leadership to quickly confirm this nominee.

Second, Sen. Cornyn has publicly stated he is blocking Vought’s confirmation, not because of any concerns with his qualifications or policy views, but instead for the unrelated issue of demanding more federal funding.  Texas is already receiving aid in the $36.5 billion supplemental funding bill that recently passed the House, and is under consideration by the Senate. Yet, Cornyn wants more. In taking this position, Cornyn appears to be playing politics and one-upsmanship with his fellow Texans, Governor Abbott and Senator Cruz, both of whom have helped to bring about appropriate and constructive federal support in response to this natural disaster.  This behavior by Senator Cornyn is unbecoming a Senator who wants to be the next Republican leader in the Senate and who professes to be a principled conservative.

Third, however, is the fact that Cornyn is blocking the confirmation of a nominee who has been repeatedly attacked for his religious beliefs. At Vought’s confirmation hearing in June, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) claimed that Vought was not qualified for a position within the government because of his Christian faith. With his comments, Sanders overtly violated Article IV of the Constitution, which prohibits religion as a threshold test for public service. In making these comments, Sanders crossed into territory that is dismaying in its intolerance and shocking in its intention.  The only answer to such an outright and unconstitutional expression of bigotry is swift confirmation of Vought’s nomination by the Senate.  Yet, by blocking this nomination, Sen. Cornyn is complicit in support of Sen. Sanders’ position by holding Vought’s nomination hostage.

The Constitution gives the Senate the responsibility to advise and consent on presidential nominees. This is a critical role that conservatives have continually used to stop unqualified nominees, or those nominees which senators believe will advance bad policy or fail to uphold the Constitution.  But, Sen. Cornyn’s actions are not based on this.

What Sen. Cornyn is engaged in is not principled leadership.  It is not majority party leadership.

We call on Sen. Cornyn to lift his hold on the nomination of Russ Vought, once again stand for principle, provide the kind of leadership expected from the #2 Republican in the Senate and prevail on Majority Leader McConnell to schedule a vote on this nominee without delay.

 
The Honorable Edwin Meese III
Former Attorney General
President Ronald Reagan
 
The Honorable Becky Norton Dunlop
Chairman, Conservative Action Project
Former White House Advisor, President Ronald Reagan
Cleta Mitchell, Esq. Jenny Beth Martin
Chairman
Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund
Diana Banister
President and Partner
Shirley & Banister Public Affairs
The Honorable T. Kenneth Cribb, Jr.
Chief Assistant to President Reagan
for Domestic Affairs
Adam Brandon
President
FreedomWorks
The Honorable Bob McEwen
U.S. House of Representatives
Former Member, Ohio
Ed Corrigan
Former Executive Director
Senate Steering Committee
Rachel Bovard
Former Policy Director
Senate Steering Committee
David Bozell
President
ForAmerica
Colin A. Hanna
President
Let Freedom Ring
Tom Fitton
President
Judicial Watch, Inc.
Tom McClusky
President
March for Life Action
Alfred S. Regnery
Chairman
Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund
The Honorable J. Kenneth Blackwell
Chairman
Constitutional Congress, Inc.
Marjorie Dannenfelser
President
Susan B. Anthony List
The Honorable David McIntosh
President
Club for Growth
The Honorable Tony Perkins
President, Family Research Council
President, Council for National Policy
William L. Walton
Chairman
CNP Action, Inc.
Rebecca Hagelin
Secretary, Council for National Policy
Board of Directors, FamilyTalk
Penny Young Nance
CEO and President, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee
The Honorable Ken Cuccinelli II
President
Senate Conservatives Fund
David N. Bossie
President
Citizens United
The Honorable Gary L. Bauer
President
American Values
The Honorable Mike Spence
Founding President
Conservative Republicans of California
Robert Alt
President & CEO
The Buckeye Institute
The Honorable Morton C. Blackwell
Chairman
The Weyrich Lunch
Mathew D. Staver, Esq.
Founder and Chairman
Liberty Counsel
Kelly Shackelford
President/CEO/Chief Counsel
First Liberty Institute
Ginni Thomas
President
Liberty Consulting
Elaine Donnelly
President
Center for Military Readiness
The Honorable James C. Miller III
Budget Director for President Reagan
(1985-1988)
Larry T. Beasley
President/CEO
The Washington Times
Peter J. Thomas
Chairman
The Conservative Caucus
The Honorable Belden Bell 
Board Emeritus
The Heritage Foundation
Sal Russo
Founder and Chief Strategist
Tea Party Express
Sean Noble
President
American Encore
Willes K. Lee
President, National Federation of Republican Assemblies
Donna Hearne
CEO
Constitutional Coalition
George Rasley
Managing Editor
ConservativeHQ.com
Ron Robinson
President
Young America’s Foundation
Anthony Saliba
CEO
Saliba Venture Management
Christopher Malagisi
Editor in Chief
Conservative Book Club
Rod D. Martin
Founder & CEO
The Martin Organization, Inc.
Sherri R. Martin
Executive Vice President
The Martin Organization, Inc.
Haley E. Martin
President
The Martin Foundation
Shawn A. Mitchell
Former National Chaplain, National Federation of Republican Assemblies
Evelio Silvera
Campaign for the American Future
Nicholas Stehle
Campaign for the American Future
The Honorable Jerry Melvin
Former Dean
Florida House of Representatives
Norm Singleton
President
Campaign for Liberty
William W. Pascoe, III
Managing Partner
Antietam Communications
Martha Boneta
Executive Vice President
Citizens for the Republic
Samuel B. Casey
Managing Director & General Counsel
Jubilee Campaign
Neil Siefring
Vice President
Hilltop Advocacy, LLC
The Honorable Michael R. Long
State Chairman
New York State Conservative Party  
Lee A. Beaman
CEO
Beaman Automotive Group
Susan A. Carleson
Chairman/CEO
American Civil Rights Union
Dr. Jerome R. Corsi, Ph.D.
Washington Bureau Chief
Infowars.com
Ed Martin
President, Eagle Forum Education
& Legal Defense Fund
John F. Tate
President
America’s Liberty PAC
Melvin Adams
Past President
Renewanation
James N. Clymer
Former National Chairman
Constitution Party
Kevin D. Freeman
Founder
NSIC Institute
C. Preston Noell III
President
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.
Charlie Gerow
CEO
Quantum Communications
Kay R. Daly
President
Coalition for a Fair Judiciary
Ralph Benko
Columnist
Becky Gerritson
President, Wetumpka TEA Party (AL)
Gerrye Johnston
Founder/CEO, Men and Women for a Representative Democracy in America, Inc.
Robert K. Fischer
Meeting Coordinator
Conservatives of Faith
Ralph A. Rebandt, II
Lead Pastor / Chaplain, Oakland Hills Community Church/Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police
Joseph A. Morris
Morris & De La Rosa
Tricia Erickson
President
Angel Pictures & Publicity, Inc.
Robert D. Thompson 
Former Administrator
The Weyrich Lunch
Col Francis X. De Luca USMCR(Ret)
President
Civitas Institute
Rick Manning
President
Americans for Limited Government
Tim Wildmon
President
American Family Association
 Lewis K. Uhler
President
National Tax Limitation Committee
Caroline Lewis
Owner
Percipio Communications
Lisa Calvert
Christian Speaker
Rabon-Calvert Interests
James L. Martin
Founder & Chairman
60 Plus Association
Joe R. Calvert
President
Rabon-Calvert Interests
Gary Marx
President
Madison Strategies LLC
Penny Pullen
President
Life Advocacy Resource Project
Barry Meguiar
President
Revival Outside the Walls
Dan Weber
Founder and President
Association of Mature American Citizens
Bob Carlstrom
President
The Carlstrom Group, LLC
Allen Hebert
Chairman
American-Chinese Fellowship of Houston
Dr. Gary Frazier
Founder
Discovery Missions International
Robert Alt
President & CEO
The Buckeye Institute

(All organizations listed for IDENTIFICATION purposes only)

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