Senate throws hundreds of Trump nominees into limbo

The Senate has sent hundreds of nominations back to the White House, throwing their fate into limbo. 

Senators sent back more than 270 nominations from the previous session on Thursday, which marked the official start of the 116th Congress. The list of nominations bounced back to the White House was printed in the Congressional Record, published Friday afternoon.

In addition to the more than 270 nominations, the Senate also returned scores of foreign service nominees who were not listed individually. 

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The setback will force President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump directed Cohen to lie to Congress about plans to build Trump Tower in Moscow during 2016 campaign: report DC train system losing 0k per day during government shutdown Senate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees MORE to decide if he will renominate each of the individuals and start the Senate confirmation process over again. Trump and administration officials have repeatedly lamented the pace of confirmations on Capitol Hill. 

Of 707 key positions that require Senate confirmation, Trump has gotten 434 confirmed, according to a tracker from the Partnership for Public Service and The Washington Post.

Trump in a pair of tweets on Monday knocked Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDem senators debate whether to retweet Cardi B video criticizing Trump over shutdown William Barr's only 'flaw' is that he was nominated by Trump Cardi B expresses solidarity with federal workers not getting paid MORE (D-N.Y.) saying he was holding up 360 "great and hardworking people," including ambassador picks. 

"More than a year longer than any other Administration in history. These are people who have been approved by committees and all others, yet Schumer continues to hold them back from serving their Country! Very Unfair!" Trump said.

The Senate did confirm dozens of nominations on Wednesday in a final package of picks during the 115th Congress as part of a deal between Schumer and Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees McConnell blocks bill to reopen most of government Overnight Health Care: Thousands more migrant children may have been separated | Senate rejects bill to permanently ban federal funds for abortion | Women's March to lobby for 'Medicare for All' MORE (R-Ky.).

Scheduling a nomination vote is up to McConnell, but any senator can force him to eat up days of floor time before getting to a final vote. 

Under the rules of the Senate, Trump has to renominate the picks in order to get them considered for confirmation during the new session of Congress. Though not a fatal decision, it will force senators to eat up precious time by sending them back through the committees before they can be brought to the floor for a final vote. 

Among those sent back to the White House were William Evanina, Trump’s choice to be the director of national counterintelligence and security center. Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleySenate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees IRS shutdown plan fails to quell worries Overnight Health Care: Dem chair plans hearing on Medicare for all | Senate GOP talks drug prices with Trump health chief | PhRMA CEO hopeful Trump reverses course on controversial pricing proposal MORE (R-Iowa) placed a hold on his nomination last year because the intelligence community has not responded to congressional inquiries in a timely matter.

Former Rep. Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaThe Hill's Morning Report — Shutdown fallout — economic distress Former congressmen, RNC members appointed to Trump administration roles Senate throws hundreds of Trump nominees into limbo MORE's (R-Calif.) nomination to head the U.S. Trade and Development Agency was also sent back. 

Roughly 70 judicial nominees were included as part of the picks sent back to the White House. Democrats pledged late last year that they would not sign off on including Trump's court picks in an end-of-Congress deal after similar agreements earned them fierce backlash from their progressive base. 

Progressive outside groups praised the decision to kick the nominations back to Trump, saying Democrats "stood firm" in the escalating fight over court picks. 

"Each of these nominees, if confirmed, would have received a lifetime seat on the federal courts and had a profound impact on the lives of Americans long after Donald Trump leaves the White House," said Marge Baker, the executive vice president for People for the American Way.