Richard Shelby votes in favor of improved Senate nominations procedure

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Senate Republicans on Wednesday voted in favor a resolution that would shorten debate time on most presidential nominees in hopes of allowing a more effective confirmation process for certain judicial and executive nominations.

Members of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration voted 10-9 to a advance the resolution proposed by Oklahoma-Republican Sen. James Lankford. Under the proposed rule, Cabinet-level nominees, Supreme Court nominees, and Court of Appeals nominees could still be debated post-cloture for a maximum of 30 hours. Meanwhile, post-cloture debate for most executive branch nominees would be reduced from 30 hours to eight hours, with the exception of District Court nominees who would be capped at two hours.

Alabama-Republican U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), a senior member of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, voted in favor of the resolution.

“I am proud to see that we are making progress toward improving the Senate nominations process,” said Shelby. “Despite stalling tactics from the Democrats, the Republican-led Senate is one step closer to expeditiously confirming President Trump’s judicial nominees. Once confirmed, these nominees will not only help impact courts in Alabama and other individual states, but they will also have the ability to influence the entire nation for generations to come.”  

In December 2017, Senator Shelby held a hearing as chairman of the Rules Committee to review Senator Lankford’s resolution. The measure now awaits consideration by the full Senate.

In 2017, the Senate confirmed 261 of President Donald Trump’s nominations, compared to 418 nominations in President Barack Obama’s first year and 483 nominations in President George W. Bush’s first year.  

Additionally, Trump’s nominees have faced 88 cloture votes in the first year, versus a total of 24 cloture votes for the previous six presidents.  

The state of Alabama currently has five District Court nominees awaiting consideration before the full Senate.

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