McCain, citing ‘unanswered questions,’ objecting to unanimous consent request on Lighthizer

May 09, 2017

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is objecting to a unanimous consent request to proceed to the nomination of U.S. Trade Representative nominee Robert Lighthizer, McCain told Inside U.S. Trade.

[Jenny Leonard] May 9th, 2017 [Inside Trade]

“I have questions that are outstanding and I'd like to have answers to those questions. That's the way the senate works,” McCain said on May 9. Asked if he is objecting to a UC request, McCain said “until I get the answers, of course.”

Inside U.S. Trade reported last week that at least one Republican lawmaker was objecting to the UC request by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Without it, McConnell would have to file two cloture motions: One to proceed to Lighthizer’s nomination and one to end debate. Sources said McConnell had expressed unwillingness to spend that much floor time on the USTR nomination, citing other legislative priorities.

McCain said his opposition to moving on Lighthizer’s nomination has nothing to do with a 2008 op-ed penned by Lighthizer about then-presidential candidate John McCain, in which the now-USTR nominee claimed “Mr. McCain may be a conservative. But his unbridled free-trade policies don’t help make that case.”

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