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Chuck Schumer: Democrats 'Possibly' Can Derail Trump's Nominees

The Senate Minority Leader said that overall, however, Democrats wouldn't oppose Trump's agenda without cause.
Image: Senate Minority Leader-elect Chuck Schumer
Senate Minority Leader-elect Chuck Schumer of N.Y. speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Nov. 18, 2016.Alex Brandon / AP, file

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said it was “possible” Senate Democrats could derail some of President Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees, but that overall Democrats wouldn't oppose Trump's agenda without cause.

“There are so many of these nominees that have different views than what the president-elect, now the president, campaigned on that of course there should be scrutiny. Now will we win some of these fights? Possibly. That's why we have a debate,” Schumer said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

Schumer’s comments came in response to a question on whether he planned to hold up the nominations of Mick Mulvaney as director of the Office of Management and Budget and Tom Price to head up the Department of Health and Human Services.

Schumer said overall, Trump’s cabinet nominees demand serious scrutiny because “they were poorly prepared. And we need to examine those conflicts of interests.”

And he suggested that Republicans were trying to move quickly with cabinet confirmations to avoid such scrutiny.

“If I were the Republicans, of course I'd want to ram a cabinet like this through. I'm embarrassed by it,” he said.

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The clash over Trump's cabinet nominees is the first of what's expected to be many between Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill as Democrats gear up to defend much of former President Barack Obama's legacy. But Schumer insisted his party wouldn't outright obstruct Trump at every turn; rather, "we're going to go by our values."

"We're not going to oppose something because the name Trump is on it, as they did," he said, referencing Republicans during the Obama administration.

Schumer said Democrats could work with Trump on an infrastructure bill, trade and repealing the carried interest exemption.

"But where our values are different we're going to oppose him, whether it's the Affordable Care Act or rolling back the limitations of Wall Street or clean air or clean water. It's our values that will decide things, plain and simple," he added.