(DCWatchdog.com) – Igniting the flame of an ongoing rivalry inside the GOP, a Senator of Missouri is currently stalling the confirmation of two Republican nominees, who are former aides to the Senate GOP Leader for positions at federal agencies.
This move isn’t a rejection of Joe Biden’s liberal appointees but rather an intensification of Missouri Senator Josh Hawley’s ongoing feud with Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell.
This friction was earlier visible when Hawley supported Senator Rick Scott’s unsuccessful attempt to replace McConnell as the GOP leader.
Hawley’s objection centers around the nominees’ swift confirmation without a formal vote as part of a package that includes several of Biden’s nominees. He has expressed concerns about giving away too much in this negotiated package, which he communicated in a letter to McConnell.
The nominees in question are Todd Inman for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Andrew Ferguson for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). These agencies, known for their bipartisan composition, periodically require presidents to nominate members from the opposing party. Currently, the FTC has vacancies for two Republicans, while the NTSB has one vacant seat.
Hawley has stated that he needs more information on Inman’s views on various transportation policies, including rail safety and autonomous vehicles. His concerns about Ferguson relate to his stance on Big Tech, an important issue for the Republican conference. Both Inman and Ferguson were nominated by Biden in July.
The Senate had planned to confirm them before the holiday recess, but it adjourned without doing so. Inman, previously a campaign aide to McConnell and chief of staff to Elaine Chao (McConnell’s wife) at the Department of Transportation, was reported by Politico for allegedly facilitating special access and federal funding for political figures in Kentucky. Ferguson, the Virginia solicitor general and McConnell’s former chief counsel, also has significant experience in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Hawley’s stance reflects his concern about the trade-offs involved in confirming a large number of Biden’s nominees in exchange for a few Republican choices. He insists on ensuring the right picks for the Republican selections, underscoring the strategic and political implications of these federal appointments.