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Conrad

Vang appointees confirmed by Senate

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Presidential appointments of President Vang were passed by the Senate in the last few days with varying levels of support from both parties. The nominees in contention were Jack Swanner at the Department of State, Jace Kadar at the Department of Justice, Johnathan Grant at the Department of the Treasury, Jim Webb at the Department of Defense and Dean Heller at the Department of the Interior. 

The four nominees mentioned above went through much more scrutiny than the rest of the Vang cabinet appointees. With hearings in full swing and topics which would ruffle the feathers of members of both parties, it was widely expected that some defections would take place. The most contentious nominee, based on the outcome of the final vote was Jace Kadar, the nominee for Attorney General. With the application of justice and the justice department being under intense scrutiny itself these past few years, it's not surprising that some Republicans crossed the aisle to vote no on the confirmation.

Notably, Senator Graham Chambers (R-AR) voted against the nomination, along with a few other Senate Republicans. He based his opposition in the now Attorney General's answers to certain Department of Justice ran programs and areas of responsibility. In a wider view of "constitutional interpretation' which also was the basis of the Senator's opposition to the nomination. The willingness of Senator Chambers to cross to the nay column could represent an issue for Republican leadership in the future if they were to need his vote and influence to get initiatives through the Senate. 

The hearing surrounding Secretary of State Jack Swanner featured some back and forth between Democratic members of the chamber, as did the hearing for Secretary of the Interior Dean Heller. The latter hearing featured a contentious line of questioning about the Dakota Pipeline and other areas of policy which traditionally has drove a wedge between Democrats and Republicans. Ultimately, it was members of perhaps the more progressive wing of the Democratic Party to vote against both Heller and Swanner. 

Generally, the American people are happy to see the cabinet nominees confirmed so quickly. Many are saying this is due to the openness of the Democratic floor leader, Amanda Willenhouse (D-CA) to relax the whip on the votes for the picks. She was quoted in the press, justifying this decision by saying that it was the President and not her that should pick the nominees. The quick confirmation of the nominees and coalescing of the two parties shows a bit of bipartisanship, which hasn't been seen in a while - especially for something like cabinet nominees. 

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