Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) threatened in his most explicit terms yet to use the so-called nuclear option to weaken the filibuster if Republicans keep blocking judicial and other nominees from coming to a vote.
"All within the sound of my voice -- including my Democratic senators and the Republican senators who I serve with -- should understand that we as a body have the power on any given day to change the rules with a simple majority," Reid told Nevada Public Radio in a little-noticed interview Friday. "And I will do that if necessary."PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
Senate Democratic leaders have engaged in preliminary discussions about how to address Republican procedural obstruction, according to a senior Democratic aide, reflecting an awareness that key administration and judicial vacancies might never be filled, and that a watered-down rules reform deal the parties struck early this Congress has failed.
"The general agreement was that Republicans would only filibuster nominees in the case of extraordinary circumstances, and once again Republicans are expanding the definition of that term to make it entirely meaningless," the aide said.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
A somewhat technical but very important exchange took place on the Senate floor late Thursday morning, which you can file away for the next time you hear Republicans tut-tut Senate Democrats for not passing a sequestration replacement bill.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
The debate on the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel to head the Defense Department devolved into a fight over semantics on Thursday.
As Republican senators imposed a 60-vote threshold on Hagel's nomination -- a requirement that's a hallmark of the filibuster -- they insisted the f-word didn't apply. All they were doing, Republicans such as James Inhofe (OK) argued, was seeking more time to gather requested information on the possible future defense secretary.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)