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Senator Patty Murray Complains That Senate Nomination Hearings Aren’t Long Enough

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) complained Wednesday that Senate Republicans were not allowing Senate confirmation hearings to run endlessly after Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) limited a HELP Committee hearing to consider Tom Price for Secretary of Education to one round of questions limited to seven minutes for each Senator. Alexander set the limits in accordance with previous Health and Human Services nomination hearings.

“I do want to say that we remain deeply disappointed in last night where Democrats were blocked from asking more than one round of questions on Betsy DeVos… and are disappointed that we are rushing this meeting as well,” Murray said, referencing the Tuesday confirmation hearing for Trump’s education pick.

“I don’t think any of us, in prior nominees that you keep pointing to, ever thought, ‘If I don’t ask for another question, I have just set a precedent.’ In fact, I think that there is no example of a Senator asking to do a question before and being turned down,” Murray continued.

Alexander cited the length of nomination hearings for past Health and Human Services Secretaries under both Democratic and Republican presidents, but Murray refused to accept this explanation.