Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) blocked the confirmation of two Senate nominees on Wednesday, protesting a “lack of responsiveness” from the Biden administration amid talks with Republicans over Ukraine aid and border security funding, according to Politico.
Menendez blocked Basil Gooden’s nomination for the Department of Agriculture’s under-secretary of rural development and the renomination of Summer Mersinger for a commissioner role as a part of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a spokesperson confirmed to The Hill.
Last week, Menendez alleged that the Biden administration was ignoring immigrant communities and caving to Republicans when it comes to border negotiations.
“It is truly shameful that President Biden and his administration are considering selling out migrants and asylum-seekers in order to placate extreme Republicans who are jeopardizing our national security and that of our allies just to score a political point,” said Menendez.
“Instead of honoring requests to meet with House and Senate members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to strategize on a reasonable and effective path forward to address our challenges at the border, the White House ignored us — a slap in the face for the Latino and immigrant communities that we represent,” he continued.
The Senate adjourned Wednesday without a deal on funding for Ukraine or border security, ending a historically unproductive legislative session. Its members are not scheduled to come back until early January.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) attributed the absence of achievements to the influence of former President Trump on the Republican-majority House.
“Under a Republican House majority this year, we saw a year marked by chaos, extremism and paralysis. There’s no question that divided government and MAGA extremism made legislating in 2023 very difficult,” Schumer said in floor remarks.