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Senators Leverage PAS Confirmations for Pro-Pot Legislation

Even people who have heard of “Senate confirmation hearings” probably don’t really know what they are since schools don’t teach civics anymore.

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Fortunately, there’s a Wikipedia definition nearby:

“Under the Appointments Clause of the United States Constitution and law of the United States, certain federal positions appointed by the president of the United States require confirmation (advice and consent) of the United States Senate.”

Termed “PAS” (Presidential Appointment needing Senate confirmation) positions, the United States Constitution is clear about how these jobs must be filled.

“Invoking cloture on presidential nominations currently requires a vote of a majority of Senators present and voting, or 51 votes if all 100 Senators vote.”

This is very important to understand: it takes 51 US State Senators to agree on a Presidential nominee for any PAS position. Why is this such a big deal?

For one thing, consider the sheer number of jobs we’re talking about here. As of 2012, somewhere between 1200 to 1400 positions required Senate confirmation, according to the CRS. That’s a lot of hiring interviews – or, in this case, committee meetings.

In February 2017, 549 PAS positions needed to be filled, as reported by Vox. Recently inaugurated President Donald Trump had hired 14 of them.

In March 2018, President Trump tweeted that hundreds of his PAS nominees “are being blocked and/or slow walked by the Democrats in the Senate. Many important positions in Government are unfilled because of this obstruction. Worst in U.S. history!”

Obstructing approval of presidential PAS position nominees is a very real power that US senators wield. Consider the case of Senator Cory Gardner (R-Colo) who promised to obstruct Trump’s nominees “until the threat of federal prosecution no longer hung over the legal state-sanctioned cannabis industry.”

Indeed, Gardner held up around 20 Justice nominees.

The result? USA Today revealed that “before leaving the White House for the G-7 Summit, Trump told reporters he ‘probably will end up supporting’ the bill.”


Gardner and fellow Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) introduced a new bipartisan bill recently. It is called, somewhat clumsily, the “Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act.”

The pro-states-rights Senate bill has “an identical House counterpart sponsored by Rep. David Joyce, R-Ohio, and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore.”

If federal sanction of “Marijuana, the Assassin of Debt” (as this writer covered last year) is what it’s going to take to confirm all those hundreds of PAS candidates, perhaps we all need to simply suck it up. So to speak.


9 Comments
  1. Post Author

    The Framers never envisioned the acrimony, division and power lust of today’s political parties. Shame.

  2. Post Author

    To be completely fair, there should be an unbiased statement of appointments that were obstructed by conservatives under the Obama administration.
    That would be too much truth in one sitting for you…

  3. Post Author

    It’s more likely that the DC politicians can see the handwriting on the wall and if they don’t end their DEA-henchmen’s tyranny over the American people, that the states and their entire population that are thumbing their noses at DEA, one by one, will be inclined to thumb their noses at the rest of DC’s powers…… it’s about time, because the entire rest of the planet is getting the idea that insanity is what comes with agreeing with DC on anything, including marijuana, medical or other… ttyl

  4. Post Author

    Disgraceful. Miserable swamp globalists wanting NWO. The Creator will deal with them. So unfair to the electorate. Two tiers of justice. Elites rule just like socialists countries do. How far we have been betrayed by teachers, PC EVIL and demonic sexuality. This may not end well. Dismemberment abortion forced us taxpayers to be complicit in murders. 40,000,000 since Roe v Wade. Disgraceful disgraceful. May God help us. MAGA

  5. Post Author

    Rescheduling this drug makes sense, and there is a point that I do not often see addressed. Moving cannabis to schedule II puts responsibility into the hands of the FDA, meaning they would take charge of labeling, and address false claims snake oil salesmen make such as “cures cancer.” It may well help with the symptoms of chemotherapy though; erase seizures for epileptics, and stop glaucoma. Perhaps it can even be the solution to the “opioid crisis.” Of greatest concern to me personally is the proposed delivery of the drug in the current marketplace. I can’t imagine smoking or even vaping is particularly good for a person’s health in the long term. The more important conservative battle should be against taking it off the FDA schedule completely, and full legalization, as is being considered in Canada.

    Federal R&D funding is warranted to isolate the various healing properties, and you can’t do that with a schedule I substance. On the negative side, this would be a big win for “big pharm” as they turn the various components into proprietary prescription pills at exorbitant costs, but it would also help to keep it out of the hands of some of our nation’s children. Black market will continue to thrive, but no more than it exists today when high taxes and banking limitations are levied on the legal operations that currently exist. Polls show that even a majority of conservatives believe this drug has merit. The “cat is out of the bag” so to speak, with the several states that have fully legalized recreational, and that won’t be easily reversed, but federal recognition of the benefits, and requisite regulation seems to be in order.

    Regarding states rights, let the Governors have/keep that, but it won’t be as substantial a win if the drug is moved to schedule II.

  6. Post Author

    It is about time that congress is treated like the rest of us and isn’t paid if they are NOT doing their jobs. They aren’t and haven’t been for years. NO WORK, NO PAY, NO BENEFITS. They need to be treated like the rest of us. They are NO BETTER. Just quit the partisanship and DO YOUR JOB!!!! Like the rest of us. Grow up, you are suppose to be grownup, intelligent, college educated, most of you are lawyers([perhaps that is the problem) but they have no common sense because they don’t live in the real world. Also, how come these people go in without a lot of money and always come out wealthy. Where does that money come from? Insider trading and selling themselves to a lobbist? I worked hard for my savings and you keep spending it like it doesn’t matter. Start taking your job seriously, to the job you were elected to do and stop obstructing everything. Why didn’t you do this for Obama? He needed to have some obstructing for the fact that his goal was to destroy this country and he almost succeeded. DO YOU JOB!!!!!!

  7. Post Author

    Just what we need a population of zombies. It is pretty obvious how many addictive personalities are out there; and addictions lead to stronger and stronger drugs. If you don’t think addiction is a problem, look around. Cell phones are an addiction and they aren’t even drugs.

    • Post Author

      Do you not know personally of people, who have been helped by Cannabis? It is safe and alcohol isn’t. It is NOT a gateway drug; it helps get people off opiods. It is not addictive, but people desire the focus or the relaxation that they get from certain strains, kinda like a cup of coffee in the morning, and a cup of chamomile tea at night.

  8. Post Author

    You need to get accurate information about Cannabis and its use. People are healed of Cancer: look up Rick Simpson and Phoenix Tears. The US govt ran him out of the US, because he was helping to heal others of cancer, too. This plant was used for centuries, until the US govt stopped it, in favor of money in their pockets. Disgraceful! I know people, and I know of many more, who have been healed or greatly helped by this plant. The govt needs to leave it alone and let the people of the USA use it, as needed, for what ails them. I have fibromyalgia and it would help my pain, but in Missouri, Cannabis use is illegal. You need to look at the facts of Cannabis helping people, and look at Israel’s successes with Cannabis. Don’t be so closed minded and believe everything the govt tells you. They want your money and to be able to tell you what is good for you, but isn’t really.

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