The White House is facing its second Democratic rebellion in less than two weeks over a nomination that’s drawn quick opposition from rural Democratic senators. Obama has enough trouble with the GOP, which is nearly united in opposing Vivek Murthy’s nomination to become surgeon general, but it’s his own party that is again in position to derail another presidential pick.
Democratic Senate aides estimated on Monday that from eight to 10 Democrats may oppose Murthy’s nomination if the vote were to be held soon, mostly because of his left-leaning views on gun policy, which have attracted opposition from the National Rifle Association. An aide closely following the nomination described a vote for Murthy as carrying “very little political or policy gain but plenty of downside.”
“We’ve worked the nomination. We know that there are several Democrats who have issues,” said Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois on Monday. “It would be problematic if it came up quickly. We need to work with some of our members.”