How did the United States end up without an ambassador to the most important non-nuclear nation in the world—Germany? Richard Grenell was nominated to be the U.S. ambassador in Berlin in September, but the New Year opens without a U.S. ambassador in Berlin, as there wasn’t enough time for a floor “debate” of 30 hours on Grenell in November or December. Who is to blame? Senate Democrats, of course. So much of the current confirmation crisis—scores of nominees are in Grenell’s boat, but his delay is one of the most risible and destructive—and its many consequences go back to the rule change implemented when Harry Reid was running the Senate: the infamous “Reid Rule.”
The Democrats are running out the clock on every nominee, demanding 30 hours of “debate” on each one of them, in hopes that, come 2019, they will return to the majority and block them the old fashioned way – in committee.
The New Year should begin with Mitch McConnell laying down the law on the basic duties of the Senate with another deployment of the Reid Rule and get these nominees their vote.