[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 11 (Friday, January 20, 2017)]
[Page S349]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                            CABINET NOMINEES

  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, on another matter--nominations--Senators 
on both sides of the aisle have expressed support for the President's 
key national security nominees. This evening, we expect to be able to 
vote on General Kelly and General Mattis, and we look forward to 
beginning the debate on Congressman Pompeo in the hopes that he can 
also receive a quick vote, but from there, we intend to have a full and 
rigorous debate on the President-elect's remaining nominees.
  My friends on the other side of the aisle did not want to have a full 
debate on the merits of these nominees in committee, so they should be 
prepared to do so on the Senate floor. Over the last several weeks, 
Republicans have made a mockery of the Cabinet hearing process, trying 
to jam through nominees in truncated hearings--nominees with serious 
conflicts of interest and ethical issues unresolved--without giving 
Senators and the American people a fair chance to question and hear 
from these nominees.
  If ever there were a group of Cabinet nominees who cry out for 
rigorous scrutiny, it is this one. I have never heard such a parade of 
potential ethical violations. The President-elect's Cabinet is a swamp 
Cabinet, full of billionaires and bankers, loaded with conflicts of 
interest and ethical lapses as far as the eye can see.
  Congressman Mulvaney failed to pay taxes on a household worker--the 
exact same issue that has caused past nominees to withdraw.
  Congressman Price is facing serious scrutiny for trading stock with 
one hand and pushing legislation to boost that stock with the other.
  Rex Tillerson has refused to recuse himself from matters relating to 
ExxonMobil for the length of his term.
  Just yesterday we learned that Steve Mnuchin tried to hide his 
holdings in the Cayman Islands from the Senate Finance Committee.
  And, of course, at the top of the list is Betsy DeVos. Her ethics 
paperwork just came in after the hearing was completed. Did she not 
want to answer any questions on it? It shows that she was invested in 
multiple education companies, including companies that have millions of 
dollars of contracts with the Department of Education to collect on 
student debt. Senators have not been given an opportunity to question 
her about these investments because we only got the information after 
the hearing. Sadly, the list goes on and on.
  The President-elect isn't draining the swamp with his Cabinet picks, 
he is filling it up. It is no wonder that the American people have 
expressed discontent with how this transition period is going.
  These issues that I mentioned, and many others, deserve to be 
thoroughly and rigorously reviewed by the Senate. If Senate Republicans 
will not let that happen in hearings, it will happen right here on the 
  Thank you, Mr. President.
  I yield the floor.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The majority leader.