Tom Cotton Pounds Sand, Says He’ll Delay Vote on Garland

Just like in the good old days when Barack Obama was president, Senate Republicans are doing anything they can to be obstructionists. Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson says he’s going to insist that all 600 pages of the Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill be read, effectively conducting his own filibuster on the measure.

Johnson’s move is not likely to change the outcome of the vote on the legislation, although it certainly will delay the delivery of financial assistance to millions of Americans who desperately need it.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Now Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton says he, too, is going to pound sand and jump on the obstructionist bandwagon. In a series of tweets Wednesday evening Cotton declared he was going to delay the full Senate’s vote on the nomination of Merrick Garland for attorney general. “Democrats are trying to expedite Judge Garland’s confirmation vote,” wrote Cotton, who was only too happy to ram through Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination for the Supreme Court in just eight days.

His stated reason is that Garland “refused to answer basic questions” during his confirmation hearing. That claim is belied by the fact that Garland answered more than 850 oral and written questions posed to him by senators. Barrett, on the other hand, turned away more than 200 questions during her confirmation hearing. Cotton thought her performance was just fine and voted her onto the Supreme Court.

Just like Johnson’s inane plan for having the coronavirus relief bill read in its entirety on the House floor, Cotton’s grandstanding over Garland’s nomination will have no practical effect, other than providing a talking point for his inevitable presidential candidacy. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) will need accomplish a couple of procedural moves to advance the full Senate vote, but because the body’s priority is passing the coronavirus relief bill the vote on Garland’s nomination most likely now is at least a week away.

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