Adam Szubin, who has bipartisan support, has been waiting more than 200 days to be confirmed as the Treasury Department's under secretary for terrorism and financial crimes. The job involves tracking terrorists to prevent them from raising money on the black market and elsewhere.
Szubin's nomination got a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee on Sept. 17, and Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) praised his past work in countering terrorist financing during his time with both Republican and Democratic administrations.
"He is eminently qualified for this," Shelby said at the time.
But Szubin's nomination hasn't moved since. There's no clear reason why, beyond trying to make it difficult for President Barack Obama to fill administration posts.How do you stop terrorists? One way is to bankrupt them. How do you do that? By finding out where the money is coming from and stopping it. Which is what Szubin would be doing, if he had the job permanently. He's not the only national security nominee being blocked. There's also Eric Fanning's nomination to be Army secretary.
Meanwhile, Republican Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley has let his hold go on a number of nominees to the State Department. But he continues to obstruct some higher-level ones, including a block on David Malcolm Robinson, nominated to be assistant secretary for conflict and stabilization operations and coordinator for reconstruction and stabilization. This hold is a result of Grassley's prolonged temper tantrum over Hillary Clinton's emails, which clearly are more critical to him than a functioning State Department.
Just as scoring political points against President Obama and fomenting fear and bigotry for a possible electoral advantage is a higher priority than effectively fighting terrorism.