Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the Senate floor that enough was enough, and he announced that he is going nuclear on Republican filibusters today.
On the Senate floor, Reid said, “The need for change is so so obvious. It is clearly visible.” Sen. Reid pointed out that half of the nominees filibustered in history have occurred during the Obama administration. Majority Leader Reid called gridlock terrible, and said “it’s time to get the Senate working again.” He said it’s time to change the Senate before this institution becomes obsolete.
Sen. Reid accused McConnell of breaking his word on filibusters. Reid said Republicans are blocking nominees because they are trying to undercut the very government that they were elected to serve. Reid ran through all of the Republican promises to end their obstruction, and how they have broken them. He said Republicans have continued to obstruct like no agreement was ever reached.
Reid said, “Advise and consent has been turned into deny and obstruct.”
Sen. Reid said that Republicans simply don’t want President Obama to make any appointments to the D.C. circuit court. He said that more than half of the nation lives in parts of the country that have been declared a judicial emergency. Reid said the American people are fed up with the obstruction.
Reid then announced his proposed rules change to the Senate. He then went nuclear. He said that the rules change gives nominees a simple yes or no vote. Sen. Reid said that this isn’t about Democrats versus Republicans. It’s about making the Senate work.
Mitch McConnell came to the floor, and promptly talked about Obamacare. Sen. McConnell accused Democrats of using the nuclear option to distract from Obamacare, and pack the courts. McConnell threatened that if Democrats go nuclear, Republicans will use the rule to confirm Supreme Court justices by a majority vote if they ever become the majority again.
Sen. Reid is correct. The Senate is broken, and it is about time that it was fixed. Republicans were never going to stick to any of the previous agreements that were made. It took Sen. Reid a long time to realize this, but the recent filibustering of the president’s judicial nominees appears to have pushed him over the edge.
Republicans brought this on themselves. They could have been reasonable and ended the obstruction at any time. They didn’t, so expect President Obama’s nominees to be confirmed in a swift manner by a partisan vote.
It is a great day for democracy, and President Obama will finally get the full team that he needs behind him. None of this had to happen, but the Republican strategy to obstruct Obama is on the way to being dealt a major blow.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association