Senate GOP absences snag Trump nominees

The Senate rejected both Eric Soskin’s nomination to be the Department of Transportation inspector general (IG) and John Johnson’s nomination to be the IG for the Federal Communications Commission.

The two nominations failed to get the majority needed to overcome an initial procedural hurdle in back-to-back 39-48 votes.

The setbacks came after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) teed up seven nominations — one of which was cleared on Friday — for the weekend session as coronavirus talks drag on.

But 13 senators — 12 Republicans and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, a California Democrat — missed Saturday’s votes, leaving GOP leadership unable to reach the simple majority required to confirm nominations in the face of Democratic opposition.