Trump's Senate saboteurs

The Republican-controlled Senate is to blame for only 17 Trump confirmations so far.  Trump has 1,242 more needing Senate approval, or the number may be as low as 500 – it's hard to pin down.  Republicans are to blame because they are in the majority and thus in control of the schedule.  Given the Senate’s vacation schedule – officially, the "state work period" – there is an almost impossibility of Trump getting all 1,242 appointees confirmed in four years even if they worked round the clock.  If the figure is only 500 appointees, it would take nearly two years of round-the-clock work.

With a few exceptions, most of those needing Senate approval must first go through committee hearings.  "Most," because in 2011, during the Obama administration, a bill was passed allowing some appointees an expedited confirmation process.  It allows them to skip the committee hearing.  Are Republicans availing themselves of this tactic?

By rules, Democrats can request 30 hours of debate for any appointee.  Twelve hundred forty-two appointees times 30 hours equals 37,260 hours of debate.  There are only 8,760 hours in a year.  So if my math is correct, it will take over four years to confirm all the appointees if the Democrats request their 30 hours for each, and nearly two years for 500 appointees.

Now, that brings us to the Senate calendar, a difficult thing to pin down with any accuracy.  The most likely days a senator will be in his home state and thus not in session in Washington are below.

March 16-19

April 8-23  

April 29-30

May 26-June 4

July 1-9

July 29-September 3

September 21-24

October 7-15

November 10-12

November 18-26

December 18-29


Those state working periods add up to 73 days.  Add in the weekends in a year, and that’s another 104 days, which gives us, at best, 188 days the U.S. Senate will be in session.  Hardly enough time to do the work of the Senate.

I would like to propose that whenever you see your U.S. senator and he is not in session in Washington, you politely tell him, "Get back to work!"

If you experience technical problems, please write to