In a new report, Accountable.US’ Senate War Room lays out Cornyn’s willingness to jam through Trump’s nominees with blatant conflicts of interest, in stark contrast to his newly invented standards for Biden’s nominees

Cornyn was all too happy to rush through Trump nominees that would push a special interest agenda including Betsy DeVos, whose vast wealth and extensive financial ties raised concerns from government ethics watchdogs

Cornyn is now ramping up efforts to obstruct or slow down Biden’s ability to form a Cabinet and government that will put workers and families ahead of special interests and corporations

Read the report 

Washington, DC – Today, Accountable.US’ Senate War Room released a report on Senator John Cornyn’s (R-TX) wild hypocrisy and partisanship on Cabinet nominees as he continues to carry water for his corporate donors and special interest allies. Cornyn spent years working to jam Trump nominees through the Senate — ignoring their inexperience as well as serious concerns about their potential conflicts of interests and lack of transparency from government ethics watchdogs — because of their commitment to advance his special interest agenda. Now, as President-elect Biden nominates qualified and experienced officials who are committed to putting workers and families first while getting the pandemic under control, Cornyn is changing his tune and making thinly veiled threats of partisan obstructionism to come.

While Cornyn will claim to be interested in scrutinizing nominees, Accountable.US’ report lays out numerous examples of Cornyn’s attempts to rush through controversial and poorly vetted Trump administration nominees, including Jeff Sessions, who failed to disclose financial interests in the oil industry, and billionaire Betsy DeVos, who failed to provide accurate and substantial financial information prior to her confirmation hearing and whose continued listing as co-trustee on her family’s trust was considered “disqualifying” by a government ethics watchdog group. Additionally, Cornyn’s faux concerns ring particularly hollow given his defense of Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns, including calling a fellow member of Congress a “partisan hack” for seeking Trump’s tax returns.

“After years of fighting tooth and nail against any transparency and scrutiny measures surrounding President Trump’s Cabinet nominees, Cornyn’s recent threats and newfound focus on the Senate’s role in scrutinizing nominees doesn’t pass the smell test,” said Mairead Lynn, spokesperson for Accountable.US Senate War Room. “This is an obvious partisan stunt in an attempt to delay and deny President-elect Biden a functional government that is ready on day one to start cleaning up Trump’s disastrous pandemic response and rebuilding our economy in a way that puts workers and families ahead of corporate donors and special interest allies.” 

Below are some of the most glaring instances of Cornyn’s hypocrisy and partisanship, read the full report HERE.

  • In early 2017, Cornyn released dozens of statements and press releases accusing Senate opponents of “slow-walking,” “stalling,” “playing politics,” and “obstructing” Trump cabinet nominees, while they waited on disclosures or raised concerns about conflicts of interest:
    • “Holding up confirmations just for delay’s sake is irresponsible, and it’s dangerous… It becomes an even bigger problem when they intentionally try to keep President Trump from doing the job that the voters have given him the responsibility to do.” (1/5/17
    • “The election is over, and it’s time for Democrats to drop this divisive strategy for the good of the country.” (1/23/17
    • “The American people made their choice, and it’s plain that our Democratic colleagues… are going to undermine and resist this President no matter what, particularly when it comes to staffing his Cabinet with the people he’s chosen to serve the nation as part of his Administration.” (2/2/17)
    • “I’m not sure who they’re trying to impress other than their dysfunctional base by stopping and slowing down these confirmations, which will be successful eventually.” (2/7/17
  • Cornyn’s interest in galloping nominees also emerged during the confirmation process for former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Cornyn portrayed the timely appointment of Sessions as a safety concern, saying “holding up confirmations just for delay’s sake is irresponsible, and it’s dangerous.” 
  • In early December 2016, Cornyn scoffed at a colleague’s complaint over an incomplete record and requested to slow down the process, arguing they had served in the Senate together for years. Cornyn further claimed concerns were “obviously for posturing and for show,” as Democrats wanted to “slow down” nominations. Cornyn’s comments came amidst revelations that Sessions failed to disclose certain financial interests such as oil sub-surfacing rights in Alabama.  

Download and read the full report

Watchdog group Accountable.US recently launched the Accountable Senate War Room to fight back against those lawmakers who seek to overturn the will of the people by standing in the way of the smooth transition of power and the swift approval of nominees to ensure that the government can function and deliver results for the American people.

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