Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would use a GOP Senate majority to force Democrats to refrain from choosing radical Cabinet appointees in the event of a potential Joe Biden presidency, according to a report.
While the presidential election results have not been declared as of Thursday morning, Biden’s campaign has set up a transition website, and a number establishment media outlets seem prepared to declare the Democrat as Tuesday’s winner.
Noting that Republicans appear primed to retain Senate control no matter which way the presidential race goes, Axios reported people close to the Biden campaign are making transition plans with McConnell in mind.
Biden’s transition team is being forced to “consider limiting its prospective Cabinet nominees to those who Mitch McConnell can live with,” the outlet reported, citing unnamed sources.
? ? scoop: McConnell, if he keeps the Senate majority, plans to prevent Joe Biden from stacking his Cabinet with liberals and force him to go with centrist options, like Lael Brainard 4 Treasury, Tony Blinken for State, sources tell @mikeallen https://t.co/nRh7GJbeh0
— Jim VandeHei (@JimVandeHei) November 5, 2020
According to the report, McConnell’s expected opposition to radical Cabinet appointees could rule out former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and failed 2018 Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams in the event Democrats win the White House.
“A source close to McConnell tells Axios a Republican Senate would work with Biden on centrist nominees but no ‘radical progressives’ or ones who are controversial with conservatives,” Axios reported. “The Biden agenda would be severely restricted by GOP control, the source added: ‘It’s going to be armed camps.’”
The outlet concluded that the dynamics of a split government could ultimately force Biden to take a centrist approach to his Cabinet picks should he win the election.
There is also speculation that such a scenario would give Biden an excuse not to give high-level jobs to far-left Democratic senators such as Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
Former Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken was linked by Axios to a potential State Department vacancy, while Federal Reserve Board of Governors member Lael Brainard was linked to a potential Treasury Department vacancy.
The Washington Post reported that Democrats had signaled they intended to come away from Tuesday’s election with complete control over the federal government.
But with the Senate likely to remain in GOP hands and with Democrats shedding House seats, they will be forced to let go of any dreams of major government reforms.
Dems had quietly mapped out plans – how to quickly pass massive covid relief, then shoring up ACA, climate, taxes, etc.
Not to mention dreams of nixing f’buster, expanding SCOTUS.
— Paul Kane (@pkcapitol) November 5, 2020
Democrats might also have to curtail plans to bolster the Affordable Care Act, pass a massive coronavirus spending bill and climate change legislation, and eliminate GOP tax reforms.
Of course, if President Donald Trump comes away from the hotly contested election victorious, Democrats will be have a slimmer House majority and will remain a minority opposition party.
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