Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell put the White House on notice Monday that he will be “picky” about confirming President Biden’s nominees if Republicans regain control of Congress in this fall’s midterm elections.
“If I’m the majority leader, we’ll be really picky on appointees. There are 1,200 executive branch appointments that come to us. They’re not all as important as the Supreme Court but many of them are quite important and have to be confirmed by the Senate,” McConnell told the Rotary Club of Florence, Ky., on Monday, according to The Hill.
“We’re in the personnel business, the House is not,” he said.
“We’ll be way more picky over who gets to head various boards and commissions and agencies that are important to how all of you function in our society,” the Kentucky Republican said.
McConnell said historically voters get “buyer’s remorse” two years after an administration takes office.
“They take a look at the situation and say, ‘Whoops, I’m not sure I did the right thing,’” the Senate leader said, noting that the party in the White House lost power in the second year of the Clinton, Obama and Trump administrations.
“There’s a reasonable chance that the voters send a message, sort of a midterm report card on the performance of this administration this fall,” he said.
McConnell said he knows Biden and the president is not a moderate although he called himself one when he was running for president against Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in 2020.
But once Biden entered the White House, he adopted their progressive agenda, McConnell said.
He also put the kibosh on any spending plans coming from the Biden administration, blaming the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which was passed in 2021 without Republican support, for flooding the economy with cash and sparking inflation.
“We won’t be doing any spending bills but if we can find ways to make some progress for the country during a time of divided government, we’ll do it,” McConnell said.