Senate confirmation hearings began Tues., Jan. 10., and will continue through this week and after the Inauguration. Incoming Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer pledged to explicitly fight eight of the nominees.
The proposed Cabinet is a Who’s Who of billionaires, cronies, demagogues, and know-nothings, most of whom either stand to profit enormously from, or wish to do harm to, the very agencies they’re slated to run. Robert Weissman, in Common Dreams, writes:
We are witnessing the wholesale corporate takeover of the American government.
Even though hearings are taking place now, nominees can’t be sworn in until Inauguration Day.
What can you do about this?
Call and express your support to Schumer for holding all Cabinet appointees to thorough and exhaustive vetting. (202) 224-6542, (518) 431-4070
Call the Committee Members who are conducting the various hearings, particularly if they are the Ranking Member, or a Democrat, or if you live in one of their states (lists below or General Senate Switchboard: (202) 224-3121.)
(optional: I am a constituent of Senator _________). As Member/Ranking Member/Chair of the ____________ Committee, I urge (Senator ________) to oppose (Nominee) for (Cabinet Position) and subject her/him to the most thorough and exhaustive confirmation hearing possible, including providing thorough background checks and tax returns to ensure that they not engaged in dangerous and undemocratic conflicts of interest.
If you reach an aide:
Do you know if (Senator __________) is planning to oppose (Nominee?)
I’m happy/disappointed to hear that.
I also urge (Senator _____________) to address the issue of ____________. *
Thank you for your time.
*Read more about each nominee and choose your target concern. See also:
Trump Picks Scott Pruitt, Climate Change Denialist, to Head EPA, Coral Davenport and Eric Lipton, New York Times
Learning Curve as Perry Pursues a Job He Initially Misunderstood, Coral Davenport and David Sanger, New York Times
Wilbur Ross and Steve Mnuchin—Profiteers of the Great Foreclosure Machine—Go to Washington, David Dayen, The Nation
Steve Mnuchin: Evictor, Forecloser, and our New Treasury Secretary, Peter Dreier, American Prospect
The Existential Threat of Trump’s Corporate Cabinet, Robert Weissman, Common Dreams
Note: Schedule is subject to change
Hearing Appointee Position Committee Members
Tues., Jan. 17 Ryan Zinke Interior Energy and Natural Resources
Tues., Jan. 17 Betsy deVos* Education Health, Education, Labor
Wed., Jan. 18 Nikki Haley U.N. Ambassador Foreign Relations
Wed., Jan. 18 Scott Pruitt* EPA Environment and Public Works
Wed., Jan. 18 Tom Price* HHS Health, Education, Labor
Wed., Jan. 18 Wilbur Ross Commerce Commerce, Transportation
Thurs., Jan. 19 Rick Perry Energy Energy, Natural Resources
Thurs., Jan 19 Steve Mnuchin* Treasury Finance
* priority – targeted by Dems to fight
Read the latest Senate confirmation hearings schedule
TIPS FOR MAKING CALLS TO MEMBERS OF CONGRESS:
1. FEEL FREE TO PERSONALIZE your script, especially if you feel strongly about an issue.
2. CALLS MAY VERY BE BRIEF, AS LONG AS YOU IDENTIFY THE SPECIFIC ISSUE YOU ARE CALLING ABOUT.
3. IF YOU ENGAGE A STAFF MEMBER IN CONVERSATION YOU CAN ASK WHERE THE congressperson STANDS ON THE ISSUE, THEN REINFORCE OR POLITELY OPPOSE.
4. LEAVE A MESSAGE WITH YOUR MAIN POINT IF YOU ARE ABLE.
5. IF YOU ARE FROM THE STATE IN QUESTION, OR HAVE DONATED TO THE INDIVIDUAL, IDENTIFY YOURSELF AS SUCH.
Still have questions about the process? Learn how Senate confirmation hearings work.
Stay up to date with the Atlantic’s Cabinet Tracker.