Hawley says he’ll hold up State and Defense Department nominees unless Blinken and Austin resign

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley said Tuesday that he will place a hold on “every single civilian nominee” for the State and Defense Departments unless Secretary Antony Blinken and Secretary Lloyd Austin resign from their posts, citing their roles in overseeing the US’ chaotic exit from Afghanistan.

The Missouri Republican told CNN that his holds will apply to any civilian nominee at the deputy and secretary levels, as well as ambassadors.

The move would force Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to take time-consuming procedural steps required to advance many uncontroversial nominees. And with scant floor time, it could be enough to indefinitely delay any number of nominees who normally would be quickly confirmed by voice vote.

Speaking earlier Tuesday on the Senate floor, Hawley demanded President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, also resign, arguing that “the failure of these individuals, the failure of this administration, has cost Americans their lives and has left American civilians to the enemy.”

“There must be accountability and then there must be a new start,” he said.

CNN has reached out to the White House for comment. The senator’s threat will likely cause concerns within the Biden administration, which has already been slow to announce some key nominations and has yet to have confirmed ambassadors installed in key countries such as China, India, France or Israel.

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Menendez scoffed at Hawley’s plans on Tuesday, charging his fellow senator with risking US national security.

“That would undermine US national security and its interests,” said Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat. “That would be a brilliant idea on behalf of Sen. Hawley.”

But Hawley pushed back at the notion that his move would jeopardize national security efforts, telling CNN that his concern was, among other things, with the 13 US service members killed in a terrorist attack in Afghanistan last month as troops raced to evacuate Americans and vulnerable Afghans.

“I’m concerned that hundreds of American civilians were left behind enemy lines and are still there. And I’m concerned the President of the United States said it was an extraordinary success … I can’t think of another example in American history when a commander in chief has celebrated that kind catastrophe as a success,” the senator said. “He should resign.”

Among the people who could get caught up in Hawley’s plans are Scott Miller, an LGBTQ rights activist and philanthropist who Biden nominated last month to be the next US ambassador to Switzerland, and Rahm Emanuel, Biden’s pick to be ambassador to Japan.

The threat could also complicate the confirmation processes for Melissa Dalton, Biden’s pick to be assistant secretary for Homeland Defense and Global Security Affairs at the Defense Department, and a host of other State Department nominees, including David Cohen to be the US ambassador to Canada, Karen Donfried to be the assistant secretary of European and Eurasian Affairs and Anne Witkowsky to be the assistant secretary for Conflict and Stabilization Operations.

The Senate on Monday confirmed three State Department nominees: Donald Lu for assistant secretary for South Asian Affairs, Brett Holmgren for assistant secretary for Intelligence and Research, and Brian Nichols for assistant secretary for the Western Hemisphere.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

KGO Events

 

Stay updated with KGO 810

Subscribe to KGO 810’s weekly eblast to get the latest information on local news, events, and exclusives from your favorite personalities.

Disneyland Figures Out a New to Make More Money

Disneyland Figures Out a New to Make More Money


AP Photo/Jae C. Hong


(CNN Business) – Millions of guests visit Disney theme parks each year, and most of them probably loathe waiting 90 minutes to ride “Peter Pan’s Flight.” So now Disney is rolling out a new service that will help park goers streamline their visits and cut down on wait times.

Genie” — which debuts this fall at California’s Disneyland and Florida’s Disney World — is a new digital service that will “maximize your park time, so you can have more fun,” according to the company.

“From specific attractions, foodie experiences and entertainment, to general interests like Disney princesses, villains, Pixar, Star Wars, thrill rides and more — just tell Disney Genie what you want to do and it will do the planning for you,” Disney (DIS) said in a blog post on Wednesday.

Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro told CNN Business this week that the company listened to guests who want the theme park experience to be simpler, straightforward and tailored “for them.”

“You tell Genie what you are interested in specifically — whether that be an attraction, a food, a character — and Genie’s going to come back to you and tell you how to make the most of your day,” D’Amaro said.

The free service will be built into Disney Parks’ established apps along with a paid version called “Disney Genie+” that allows guests to access the “Lightning Lane” for $15 at Disney World and $20 at Disneyland.

“Lightning Lane” is basically a paid version of a benefit that used to be free for guests: Disney’s FastPass, which allowed visitors to book ride and attraction times in advance to avoid long waits.

As Disneyland retires the Fastpass and unveils their new pay-for Genie+ service to manage lines/crowds, Nikki Medoro and Bret Burkhart wonder if people will actually pay more to avoid lines. Also, Brett Favre says kids should avoid tackle football before age 14.