Sen. Coats: 'Nuclear Option' a Distraction From Obamacare

Thursday, 21 Nov 2013 06:54 PM

By Greg Richter

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The Democrats' real reason for triggering the "nuclear option" on judicial nominations is to distract the public from the disastrous Obamacare rollout, says Sen. Dan Coats.

But the Indiana Republican doesn't think they'll succeed.

"I'm not sure their constituents are going to be asking about judge nominations; they're going to be asking an awful lot about Obamacare," Coats said Thursday on CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

Story continues below video.



"They're desperate for something," Coats said. "This is purely distraction. Now it's an important distraction from the standpoint that it breaks 225 years of history."

Democrats are hoping to lure Republicans into responding, Coats said, but added they won't fall for the trap of getting into a war on the issue.

Republicans plan to keep hammering at Obamacare. The HealthCare.gov website has been filled with glitches, and President Barack Obama's promise that people could keep insurance plans they like hasn't come to fruition.

The "nuclear option" passed by Democrats on Thursday stops Republicans from holding up judicial nominees by decreasing the number of votes needed to break a filibuster from 60 to 51. Democrats hold control of 55 votes.

The Senate's role has been to "advise and consent" on presidential nominations, but Coats said, "The Democrats have just said, we don't want your advice, and we don't want consent.

"This is all about nothing," he said. "I don't know why they're doing this except to shove it down our throats – just like they did Obamacare in 2009, 2010."

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