Senate Democrats are pushing through nearly two dozen of President Obama’s nominees in their final days in the majority.

Vivek Murthy, surgeon general

The biggest lightning rod in the nominations fight is Murthy, Obama’s choice for surgeon general.

Senate Democrats have set up a vote for Monday evening on his nomination, defying gun rights groups such as the National Rifle Association, which on Monday called Murthy a “political operative” unfit for the position.

Sarah Saldaña, assistant secretary of Homeland Security

Republicans have fought to stop Saldana’s confirmation because she would be the official in charge of issuing worker visas to illegal immigrants under Obama’s executive actions.

“She will continue the pattern of lawlessness perpetuated by the president and the political leadership at the Department of Homeland Security,” Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said.

Antony Blinken, deputy secretary of State

Later this week, the Senate will vote on Blinken’s nomination.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and potential White House contender in 2016, has objected to the nominee, arguing he has refused to answer his questions about the future of U.S. relations with Cuba.

Robert Pitman, U.S. district judge for Texas

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a dozen judicial nominees last week, with all expected to be confirmed by the end of the week.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who is set to become chairman of the Judiciary panel in the next Congress, says it is unprecedented for the Senate to vote on district court nominees during the lame-duck session.

Continue reading →