Biden Builds His Cabinet the Hard Way

February 25, 2021

Winning the Senate helped Democrats, but it sure didn't guarantee smooth sailing for Joe Biden's cabinet nominees. The party's one-vote majority has created plenty of heartburn at the White House, especially where controversial picks like Xavier Becerra, Neera Tanden, and Deb Haaland are concerned. Keeping the Democrats on board with his radical choices has been no easy task for Biden, let alone dealing with the GOP's suddenly united front. "Don't expect Senate Republicans to forget how the Democrats treated Mr. Trump's nominees," John Barrasso (R-Wy.) warned back in December. And they haven't.

Apart from Tanden, whose hostile Twitter feed has all but sunk her chances OMB, Becerra has gotten the lion's share of the Republicans' objections. During Wednesday's second hearing, Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) asked the former California attorney general if he could name just "one abortion restriction" he might support. Becerra hemmed and hawed, throwing out mushy answers about following the law and respecting people's viewpoints (two things his record would show he's never done).

After waiting for an answer that never came, Daines tried again. "Is there any line you would draw?" he asked. "What about a ban on the lethal discrimination of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome? Would you draw a line there? What about a ban on sex-selective abortion, whether it's a little girl or a little boy, yes or no? What about a ban on partial birth abortion? What about abandoning denials of care to survivors of botched abortions?" He pressed him on every possible issue. "He dodged," Daines told listeners on "Washington Watch." "I didn't get an answer." And it's no mystery why. "He is truly one of the most radical, aggressive, pro-abortion leaders we've seen in this country."

Thursday, his fallback was that he would enforce the law. But, as Daines said, he has no history suggesting he would. "I had a great conversation with [former HHS Secretary Alex] Azar," the Montana senator said. "And he [told me], 'I probably have one hundred lawsuits against Becerra'" from trying to hold California accountable for violating the Constitution during his time in the AG's office. "So I'm concerned," Daines said earnestly.

Obviously, with every new administration, Americans expect a change in ideologies. We fully anticipated that the Democratic Party would have a pro-abortion attorney general, pro-abortion secretary of State. Abortion is a litmus test for the Left. But Xavier Becerra is not just pro-abortion. He's not just anti-life. He's a militant, anti-freedom activist.

Look at his positions on religious freedom, Daines pointed out. He's been absolutely fanatical, and that should worry everyone who sees "what's happening before our very eyes in our country where the far-Left is doing all they can to cancel any right-of-center thought or religious thought. This is one more advocate on that cancel culture bandwagon -- and that, unfortunately, seems to really characterize what's going on in the Biden administration."

But it isn't just our fundamental freedoms that are taking a hit. It's our economy and American industry too. By tapping former congresswoman Deb Haaland to head up Interior, this country's energy sectors had better buckle up. "She, like Becerra, has embraced the most far-Left and radical ideas as it relates to her record on public lands and energy. Let me give you an example. She opposes all pipelines -- not just the Keystone Pipeline -- all pipelines. She wants a ban on fracking. She wants all fossil fuel infrastructure stopped. She opposes trapping on public lands. She's opposed to everything that we need in the West to keep the lights on. She's opposed to it."

Not only that, Steve warned, "She was ranked one of the Top 10 Most Liberal Members of the House. Now, that's a pretty distinguished list, because it would include AOC. And really, she is embracing everything AOC stands for" -- including the Green New Deal. In a speech that's haunting Haaland from 2018, she announced that she would eliminate all fossil fuels. She wants 100-percent dependance on renewable energy. And just ask the folks in Texas how that turned out last week.

Honestly, Daines said, "I hope the American people, the majority of people are seeing through this. Remember where we were back in the 70s, dependency on the Middle East when... the Arab countries launched the attack, the war of Yom Kippur, [and] oil prices quadrupled. And then those inflationary effects created interest rates of nearly 20 percent back in the early 80s. What that [did] to home ownership in terms of farms and ranches and business collapsing because of inflation, high interest rates -- all of that was tied to energy." Thanks to Donald Trump, he pointed out, and American innovation, we are now globally energy dominant. "We're a net exporter now of energy. And these crazy far-Left liberals now want to take us back to the dark ages."

Don't let them! Contact your senators and urge them to oppose Haaland and Becerra's nominations. If Biden wants unity, tell him to prove it by nominating reasonable men and women to run our government agencies.