Used to keep Senators and the American public from the common belief that presidential appointments are to be given a timely and fair hearing, as well as a simple up or down vote, to determine if a majority of Senators approve or disapprove.
Present Senate rules allow a minority, even a single Senator, to place an indefinite hold on one or several nominees. These rules allow, and in a contentious political climate, one might say these rules even encourage the minority to obstruct multiple nominees by the hold process and by the filibuster rules, violating the Constitutional balance and structure of the Senate, and holding up the proper functioning of the federal government.
There are presently more than 80 vacancies on the federal bench, with more likely in the next few years. There are several cabinet positions and assistant administrative and regulatory positions to be filled. It is fairly well known that the delay on filling these vacancies has more to do with Senate obstruction than with available and qualified professionals to do these jobs.
So, to restore sanity to our present nominations process, and to keep the procedural logistics as simple as possible, I believe our Vice President, as Presiding Officer of the Senate, ought to arrange for a rules change to expedite all outstanding nominations and insist that committee hearings be held within 30 days of a candidate's announcement and floor debate for each be limited to 5 hours before determining whether a 51 vote majority can confirm each nominee.
This action by the Vice President would be a statement that the majority is in charge of the Senate, and obstruction cannot be tolerated as a routine way of doing business. Minority views will be heard, but elections have consequences, they matter.
I have formulated the above into a White House petition, which I link below. If you agree with my ideas, or even think they deserve a wider discussion, please take a look at my petition and maybe sign it so it can meet the threshold there of 150 signatures, allowing it to be seen by the public who visits the White House site.
Link to Petition below:
Here is the link to the White House "We The People" petition page:
Any support or feedback would be appreciated.