Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) expressed his beliefs in the importance of putting a hold on Trump’s executive calendar and not move any more forward on nominee conforming in order to get a vote on issues like tariffs.
Flake stated, “I think that approving new judges, more judges is important. That’s one of the roles. We are, as Senator McConnell says often, we’re in the personnel business in the Senate. Most of the votes that we’ve had this year have been to advance the president’s executive calendar, nominees…that’s important, but it can’t be everything we do.”
“And that’s where I think myself and a few others have come down on, saying that can’t be everything we do. And if we’re — we have to use that to say, all right, let’s not move forward on more judges and more of the president’s executive calendar until we fulfill our constitutional obligation, until we at least register our opinion, on tariffs, for example, and let people know where we are and let the president know where we are. I think a lot of us are tired of saying, we’ll only take something up if the president agrees with it. Like on immigration reform, we’ll only take it up if he says he’s going to sign it. Well, he said he wasn’t going to sign Russia sanctions, but we passed it anyway, 98-2. He found a way to like it. That’s our role as the Article I branch. And so, I think if all we can do is to say, let’s put the president’s executive calendar on hold, judges, nominees for other appointments on hold until we can actually vote on some of these things, or until we get a commitment that on this bill, this appropriations measure, the FAA bill, we may need a new revenue bill to do a tariff vote on, then we simply won’t go forward. You hate to have to go there, but in this case, it wouldn’t be me saying I’m going to put a hold on something. You don’t have to do that. It would just be me saying I will vote no, and that may be enough.”