Senate Democrats made the strategic decision to abandon tradition and not allow the use of unanimous consent for most appointees from this president. This has left a backlog of candidates because the Senate must dedicate 30 hours of floor time before it can bring the nominees to a vote and confirmation with a simple majority.
With about a 100 days left on the calendar before the next election, the Senate has to decide which nominees to prioritize and try to get through the arduous passage process.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission deserves to be among the top of the list. As I wrote in the Wall Street Journal last week, currently the EEOC, which is a bipartisan commission led by five presidentially appointed commissioners, has two vacant seats, giving Democrats a 2-1 majority. As a result, the EEOC is still continuing Obama-era policies and priorities, which has an impact on religious liberties and businesses’ hiring policies and paperwork burdens.
Democrats are willing to pass the two stellar Republican nominees, if one of the current commissioners — Chai Feldblum, whose term otherwise expires in July — is also confirmed for another term. Many Senate Republicans are understandably unhappy at the prospect of reappointing the very progressive, activist Feldblum.
If Republicans aren’t willing to take that deal, then they ought to push Senate leadership to allocate floor time for the EEOC nominees. The outcome shouldn’t be that Feldblum, along with her other Democratic commissioner, continues effectively to be in charge. One way or another, the Senate needs to make sure we get a long-overdue change of leadership at the EEOC.