Republicans are planning to torpedo some of President-elect Biden's prospective Cabinet, agency and judicial nominees if the GOP keeps its majority, aides told Axios Sunday.
"The top targets include political names and civil servants who spoke out loudest against President Trump, forced out his appointees or became stars in the impeachment hearings — like Sally Yates and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman — as well as longtime targets of conservative media, like Susan Rice," Axios revealed. "They also include more obscure potential nominees for federal judgeships, solicitor general and the Supreme Court. Republicans worry these nominees could blunt conservative moves on deregulation or social policy."
Biden is expected to announce his first slate of Cabinet picks this week as GOP staffers begin "gathering opposition research and even planning potential hearing questions." There's a labeling process, according to aides. One of the descriptors being floated is "really objectionable," which is assigned to a candidate by Republican senators who are "working behind the scenes to preempt their nomination."
"He's entitled to have those agencies running, especially at this time," the aide said. "It doesn’t seem sustainable nor politically smart to block someone in those roles."
The bottom line, though, is that Republicans may end up crossing the party line to endorse a Biden candidate not likely to pass otherwise. Don Ritchie, the Senate's former historian, said presidents historically have gotten "about 95 percent of their nominations through."
"Some Democrats have discussed the idea of Biden choosing a 'sacrificial lamb' for Republicans to take down, thus easing the passage of other nominees," Axios reported.
"There is historic urgency for Republicans and Democrats to work together in this moment of unprecedented crisis," Biden spokesman Andrew Bates said.