We report, you feel slightly nauseous.
Senator Jeff Flake, a man who always looks like he’s about to cry even when he’s been happy, has been blocking Republican judicial nominees for that thing he claims to care about.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) is playing hardball as he tries to force congressional Republicans into a confrontation with President Trump over tariffs.
Flake, a vocal Trump critic who is retiring early next year, is taking aim at one of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) top priorities — judicial nominations — as he looks for leverage in the trade fight. The Arizona Republican is vowing to oppose any circuit court nominations until the Senate has a “significant vote” on tariff legislation.
“I do expect to get a vote,” Flake said. “But until I get a vote on tariffs, until we get a Senate vote on tariffs, I won’t vote for circuit court nominees.”
His stance effectively leaves motionless the confirmation process for appeals court nominees unless Republicans can win over Democratic support. While GOP senators hold a 51-49 majority in the chamber, the absence of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) means their support is capped at 50 votes without help from the other side of the aisle.
There are currently 13 circuit court judges awaiting confirmation in the Senate — three are ready for a vote by the full chamber and 10 are stuck in the Judiciary Committee’s pipeline.
And the clocking is ticking. This is another reminder of what losing a Senate seat, even while retaining a majority, can cost the country. But does Flake really care about tariffs? Or is this his audition tape? His latest audition tape after his soppy speech about the media.
Over the past several days, the Arizona Republican—who is not seeking re-election amid his public fights with President Donald Trump—has met with the the heads of at least two major cable-news networks.
On Monday, he met with MSNBC president Phil Griffin; and on Tuesday, he met with rival network CNN’s chief Jeff Zucker. Flake was absent Monday for a series of Senate votes that took place around 5:30 p.m. Neither network responded to requests for comment on those meetings.
When asked by The Daily Beast whether he is in talks for a cable-news gig, Flake declined to confirm or deny that the meetings took place.
“That’s down the road—that’s six months,” Flake said with a laugh.
Isn’t he just hilarious?
So should that party identification be Senator Jeff Flake (CNN – AZ) or (MSNBC – AZ)?