Biden’s First Round Of Nominees Are Set To Appear On Capitol Hill Today; All 5 Nominees Have Deep Ties To The Obama Administration, Underscoring Biden’s Desire To Return To The Failed Policies He Pushed As Vice President
TODAY, THE SENATE WILL HOLD CONFIRMATION HEARINGS FOR 5 BIDEN ADMINISTRATION NOMINEES
Treasury Secretary nominee, Janet Yellen, Director of National Intelligence nominee, Avril Haines, and Biden’s pick to head the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, will appear before the Senate this morning.
Secretary of State nominee, Antony Blinken, and Defense Secretary nominee, General Lloyd Austin, will appear before the Senate this afternoon.
JANET YELLEN HAS DEEP TIES WITH THE DEMOCRAT ESTABLISHMENT AND HER SOFT-ON-CHINA APPROACH FALLS RIGHT IN LINE WITH BIDEN’S RELUCTANCE TO STAND UP FOR U.S. TRADE INTERESTS
Yellen has deep ties with the Democrat establishment and was nominated to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors by both President Obama and President Clinton.
Yellen also served as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Clinton.
Like many Obama Administration officials, Yellen cashed in after she left the public sector, earning more than $7.2 million in speaking fees over the past two years from Wall Street firms including Citi and Goldman Sachs.
The Treasury Secretary is typically responsible for economic negotiations with the U.S.’ largest trading partners, including China, and like Biden himself, Yellen has been hesitant to stand up to China on key issues.
Yellen, like many on Biden’s team, supports “open trade” with China and has been quick to criticize the Trump Administration’s hardline stance against China.
During a 2018 congressional hearing as Fed chair, Yellen defended China saying, “I do not see unfair trade practices in China, or anywhere in the world, as what is responsible for the U.S. trade deficit.”
Yellen’s soft-on-China approach should come as no shock considering Biden has repeatedly dismissed concerns that the U.S. should view China as an economic rival, saying “they’re not competition for us,” and joking “China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man?”
And if there was any doubt about what the Biden Administration wants to do, Yellen said in a 2018 interview that her ideal fiscal policy would be to “raise taxes and cut retirement spending.”
ANTONY BLINKEN IS ANOTHER LONGTIME DC DEMOCRAT; THE SECRETARY OF STATE NOMINEE HAS BEEN BY BIDEN’S SIDE AS THE FORMER VICE-PRESIDENT GOT IT WRONG ON “NEARLY EVERY MAJOR FOREIGN POLICY AND NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUE”
Blinken has deep ties to the Obama Administration and has been by Biden’s side as he, in the words of Obama’s Defense Secretary Bob Gates, “has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue.”
Blinken served as National Security Advisor to the Vice President from 2008 to 2013.
During this time, Vice President Joe Biden advised President Barack Obama not to go forward with the raid that resulted in the death of 9/11 perpetrator, Osama Bin Laden.
Blinken also advised Biden as he pushed for the Obama Administration’s disastrous Russia “reset” policy and personally sought to cozy up to Vladimir Putin.
In an interview with PBS, Blinken brags that “Vice President Biden was the one who first advanced the reset.”
In 2011, Biden told Turkish President Abdullah Gul he didn’t think violence in Syria would become disruptive regionally; he was unsurprisingly wrong once again, and by 2014, ISIS controlled territory from Central Syria to the outskirts of Baghdad, Iraq.
That same year, Biden endorsed China’s one-child policy saying, “your policy has been one which I fully understand – I’m not second-guessing – of one child per family.”
During his time at the State Department, Blinken oversaw the “badly” misjudged red line in Syria, where the administration declined to respond to Assad’s use of chemical weapons.
Blinken defended this misstep saying, “we enforced the red line diplomatically, not militarily, and far more effectively than if we had used force.”
ANOTHER OBAMA ADMINISTRATION ALUM, AVRIL HAINES’ NOMINATION HAS SPARKED CONCERN OVER HER ROLE IN SEVERAL CONTROVERSIAL OBAMA-ERA PROGRAMS
Avril Haines is another Obama Administration alum, serving as Principal Deputy National Security Advisor, Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and NSC Legal Advisor.
Haines also served as Deputy Chief Counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee while Biden was Chairman.
Haines represents a return to the Obama Administration and concerns about her nomination reflect broader concerns about this strategy from progressives.
Haines has already come under fire for her work in the Obama Administration from progressive groups like CODEPINK, Progressive Democrats of America, World Beyond War and Roots Action, who have launched a campaign calling on the Senate to reject her confirmation.
Haines was directly involved in some of the Obama Administration’s most controversial programs, including the proliferation of drone strikes.
According to former CIA whistleblower Kiarikou, Haines regularly approved the drone bombings that killed not only suspected terrorists but entire families, including children: “It was Avril that decided whether it was legal to incinerate someone from the sky.”
In 2015, when Haines was Deputy CIA Director, she played a key role in interfering with a Senate Investigation into the U.S. torture program.
Haines overruled the CIA’s own inspector general in failing to discipline agents who violated the U.S. Constitution’s separation of powers by hacking Senate Intelligence Committee computers to thwart its investigation into the agency’s detention and interrogation program.
ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS USED HIS ROLE IN THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO PROVIDE SPECIAL TREATMENT TO VISA APPLICANTS WITH TIES TO PROMINENT DEMOCRATS, NOW HE’S GETTING A PROMOTION
Alejandro Mayorkas also served in the Obama Administration as deputy DHS secretary and the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Mayorkas cashed in on his role in the Obama Administration, earning more than $3.3 million over the past two years as a corporate lawyer representing and advising companies like as Airbnb, Northrop Grumman, T-Mobile and Uber.
Mayorkas was at the center of an Obama Administration controversy around the EB-5 program, which offered a path to Green Cards for foreign investors willing to put $500,000 into a job-creating U.S. business.
An Inspector General report found that “Mr. Mayorkas’ communication with external stakeholders on specific matters outside the normal procedures, coupled with favorable action that deviated from the regulatory scheme … created an appearance of favoritism and special access.”
Mayorkas afforded this special treatment to projects with ties to prominent Democrats including Sen. Harry Reid, Terry McAuliffe, and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
An ABC News investigation revealed that DHS “ignored pointed warnings from federal agents and approved visas for immigrants suspected of having committed fraud, money laundering, and even one applicant with alleged ties to a child porn website.”
GEN. LLOYD AUSTIN WORKED TOGETHER WITH BIDEN ON THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S FAILED PLAN TO COMBAT ISIS
General Lloyd Austin also has close ties to Biden: the two worked closely during the Obama Administration when the former Vice President led Iraq policy and Austin served as the last commanding general of U.S. forces in Iraq.
Much like Biden, Austin played a central role in the Obama Administration’s disastrous foreign policy, he was head of U.S. Central Command in the Middle-East where he oversaw operations against the Islamic State as the terrorist group gained large swaths of Iraq and Syria.
In 2015, Austin came under fire for the U.S. military’s role training forces in Syria to fight the Islamic State during the country’s civil war, and Austin was forced to acknowledge that the U.S. spent $500 million to train only a handful of fighters.
Austin also faced allegations that Central Command downplayed intelligence reports on the threat posed by ISIS and painted a brighter picture of the progress of U.S. military efforts.
It was flawed intelligence from Austin’s Central Command that prompted President Obama into casually dismissing the group as the “JV team,” in a New Yorker profile.
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