Specifically, the Surgeon General nomination. Why is Vivek Murthy’s nomination stalled, again? Well, as Byron York reminds us it’s primarily because Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Harry ReidSenate Democrat AverageSee Full Scorecard11% wants it stalled:
It would take just 51 of the Senate’s 55 Democrats to confirm Murthy. But that confirmation has not happened. “There is bipartisan opposition, so [Reid] hasn’t even tried to bring him to a vote,” says another senior Senate GOP aide.
Consider this the fallout from Reid’s decision to partially nuke the filibuster (oh, I slay me): Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Harry ReidSenate Democrat AverageSee Full Scorecard11% wanted the judges, and he figured that getting them was worth the embarrassment of having to occasionally scuttle the President’s more embarrassingly awful executive branch nominees. And Murthy is, indeed, embarrassingly awful: back in 2012 he rather infamously declared guns to be a “public health issue” – which is to say, Dr. Murthy wants to use the regulatory aspects of the State to do an end-run around that pesky Constitution thingy and ban guns that way. Which is why civil rights groups have made their opposition to Dr. Murthy crystal clear – and why Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Harry ReidSenate Democrat AverageSee Full Scorecard11% has allowed Murthy’s nomination to languish in the bowels of the Senate*.
Normally all of that would be an ‘ehh,’ except for three things:
- The aforementioned filibuster changes. There are enough Senate Democrats running for reelection who are already quietly frantic about their chances that they don’t need any more headaches right now. And ticking off the National Rifle Association in an election year counts as a ‘headache.’ Oh, my, yes.
- NLRB v. Canning. That particular decision keeps the President from using a pro forma recess to simply appoint Dr. Murthy. The President could have used the August recess to appoint Murthy, except that he made an agreement with Senate Republicans not to**.
- Ebola. Turns out that we were going to have a public health crisis in October. Would a Surgeon General be helpful in this situation? I don’t know: maybe yes, maybe no, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Harry …read more