Marc Short: “The Senate is conducting the slowest confirmation process in American history”

This is a common White House refrain that has been extensively discussed and fact-checked. See here, here, and here, and see also an earlier claim with more specific historical references.

Yet as even The Washington Post has reported, the Senate is conducting the slowest confirmation process in American history.

But it is historic in the level of obstruction that is denying the will of the American people who elected a new administration and expect that administration to be able to staff the departments.

—White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short
Press Briefing,  July 10, 2017

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Sen. Cory Booker: Unlike AHCA deliberations, Constitutional Convention was “public, open, transparent”

Cory BookerWhat is interesting is, if you think about the forming of our country in that debate–again, the Constitutional Convention was public, open, transparent–issues were debated.

In fact, through the process, the very Constitutional Convention of this country–perhaps some of the biggest issues of humanity–were debated in an open forum. We have records of those discussions, records of those deliberations. Everything from the representation that each State should have to issues as profound as slavery were right there, out in the open.

—Sen. Cory Booker (D–NJ)

Healthcare Legislation,  Senate Floor, June 19, 2017

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Sen. Cory Booker: Tradition of the Senate is to “slow things down”

Cory BookerWe have seen this body, in the very short period of time I have been here, begin to undermine not just things that happened under the Obama administration but to undermine traditions that go back decades, if not more than a century.

The longest filibuster on this floor … It was actually almost exactly 60 years ago. Continue reading Sen. Cory Booker: Tradition of the Senate is to “slow things down”

Sen. Christopher Murphy: Senate not fulfilling role envisioned by Connecticut Compromise

Christopher MurphyThere is, right outside this Chamber, a picture of the authors of the Connecticut Compromise, two of the Connecticut delegates to the Constitutional Convention.

The idea of the House is that it is supposed to respond, perhaps, more quickly to the temporary passions of the public, which is ironic, given that the passion of the public today is in deep opposition to this piece of legislation.

This place [the Senate] is supposed to be able to step back and look at the long term and look at the long view.

—Sen. Christopher Murphy (D–CT)

Healthcare Legislation,  Senate Floor, June 19, 2017

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Sen. Charles Schumer: Markup for Obamacare “one of the longest in history”

Charles SchumerThey considered nearly 300 amendments [to the Affordable Care Act] during the 13-day markup. That was one of the longest in history, as it should have been on such a major bill.

—Sen. Charles Schumer (D–NY)
Healthcare Legislation,  Senate Floor, June 19, 2017

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Sen. Ron Wyden: Obamacare Senate session the second-longest in US history

Ron WydenAs of now, there will not be a single Democratic amendment adopted in the Finance Committee. When the legislation [the Affordable Care Act] went to the floor, the Senate spent 25 consecutive legislative days on healthcare reform–the second longest consecutive session in history. That is how the legislative process ought to look: The committees do the hard work in the open, gather input from the American people, have a chance–Democrats and Republicans–to work together.

—Sen. Ron Wyden (D–OR)

Healthcare Legislation,  Senate Floor, June 19, 2017

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Sen. Jeff Merkley: Markup of Obamacare in HELP committee was its longest ever

Jeff MerkleyIn that year [2009], in the HELP Committee–Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee–there were 47 hearings, roundtables, and walkthroughs, a markup that went for more than a month–the longest markup in that committee in the history of the United States of America; a markup that considered over 300 amendments; a markup with, in fact, a group of Senators, bipartisan, sitting around the table with the television cameras rolling while they debated those amendments and voted on those amendments [to the Affordable Care Act].

—Sen. Jeff Merkley (D–OR)

Healthcare Legislation,  Senate Floor, June 19, 2017

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein: Not since before WWI has there been “such a secret, partisan process for passing a major bill”

Dianne FeinsteinI just have to say, this is the least transparent process for a major piece of legislation I have seen in my 24 years in the Senate. Former Senate Historian Don Ritchie said that you have to look back before World War I to find another example of such a secret, partisan process for passing a major bill. The Senate healthcare bill in fact is being written behind closed doors.

—Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D–CA)

Healthcare Legislation,  Senate Floor, June 19, 2017

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Sen. Bernie Sanders: Length of Obamacare deliberations were record-setting

Bernie SandersIn 2009 and 2010, the Finance Committee held 53 hearings, meetings, negotiations, and walkthroughs on the Affordable Care Act. That committee marked up the Affordable Care Act for 8 days. That was the longest markup in 22 years, and adopted during that process were over 10 Republican amendments. When the bill was considered on the Senate floor, the Senate spent 25 consecutive days in session on health reform–the second longest session in history.

—Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–VT)

Healthcare Legislation,  Senate Floor, June 19, 2017

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Donald Trump: This cabinet has faced record-setting confirmation delays

The Washington Post has checked this statement.

This is our first Cabinet meeting with the entire Cabinet present. The confirmation process has been record-setting long — and I mean record-setting long — with some of the finest people in our country being delayed and delayed and delayed.