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Jonathan Bernstein

Congress Earned Voters' Disrespect

Republican failure to act on Obama nominees means the U.S. is lacking a terrorism undersecretary.
All talk, no action?

All talk, no action?

Photographer: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Senate left town last week, its work unfinished. Majority leader Mitch McConnell’s partial government shutdown continues. Among other things, Republicans still refuse to take up many of Barack Obama’s judicial and executive-branch nominations -- a roadblock that makes it hard for the courts and the federal government to work efficiently. 

Jennifer Bendery at HuffPost describes one particularly embarrassing example: The undersecretary of the Treasury in charge of the terrorism and financial crimes division hasn’t been confirmed. Adam Szubin was nominated in mid-April, more than seven months ago. Republicans don’t oppose him. Bendery reports that the Banking Committee chairman, Richard Shelby, praised Szubin at his confirmation hearing. And then? Nothing.