“Democrats, who are set to step into the Senate majority later this week, will soon have the power to set the Senate’s schedule, but any one senator can object to swift consideration of a nominee, which allowed Hawley to pump the brakes on the entire process,” Politico reported.
Past presidents-elect have commonly been sworn into office with any number of nominees already confirmed, but the report said that Biden was sworn in on Wednesday with a grand total of zero on the books. Zero. This is shameful but sadly not surprising when nearly 150 fascistic Congressional Republicans—including Hawley—voted to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election because they didn’t like it.
So now due to Republican obstruction, DHS under Biden is currently being overseen by an acting secretary who has been previously Senate-confirmed, and who tweeted he’ll remain in position “until Mr. Mayorkas is confirmed”:
Mayorkas’ nomination has been welcomed by a number of immigrant rights advocates, who have said he would be the first department leader “with extensive experience with immigration.” CNN previously reported that “[u]nder Obama, Mayorkas … was integral to the implementation of DACA.” A number of advocates, including Lorella Community Change Co-president Lorella Praeli and United We Dream Executive Director Greisa Martínez Rosas, noted Mayorkas was essential in the successful and popular program’s creation.
Mayorkas, once confirmed, will oversee a DHS under an administration that has pledged to introduce an immigration overhaul and sign a number of executive orders on immigration on Day One.
Biden has also pledged a 100-day moratorium on deportations, dealing a much needed-blow to the out-of-control Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. However, some advocates believe “it is possible that we may not see a deportation moratorium today because the Biden team believes they need a Senate-confirmed head DHS in office … and yesterday Senator Hawley blocked the quick confirmation of Alejandro Mayorkas in a fit of pique,” tweeted American Immigration Council Policy Counsel Aaron Reichlin-Melnick.
Hawley will not single-handedly stop our progress. Remember a couple weeks ago when Republican U.S. Sen. Mike Lee of Utah single-handedly blocked the bill establishing a Smithsonian National Museum of the American Latino in Washington, D.C.? We won it just a couple days later, when New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, a co-sponsor of the legislation establishing the Latino museum, successfully worked to include the measure in the year-end spending bill.
Josh Hawley will not stop us. But he’s sure been showing us lately the despicable lengths he’ll go to to try anyway.