Tags: harry reid | filibuster | nominations | majority

Senate GOP Torn on Restoring Filibuster Option on Nominees

By    |   Wednesday, 10 Dec 2014 07:47 AM

Now that they are taking control of the Senate, Republicans can decide whether to maintain a filibuster rule they bitterly opposed when it was passed in November 2013 by the Democratic majority, Politico reported.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid altered the rules to block the minority party's ability to filibuster most presidential nominees other than cabinet positions or Supreme Court justices.

He said he did so because Republicans had held up for years many of the nominees put forth by the Obama administration.

"There has been unbelievable, unprecedented obstruction," Reid said at the time. "The Senate is a living thing, and to survive it must change as it has over the history of this great country.

"To the average American, adapting the rules to make the Senate work again is just common sense," Reid told The New York Times.

Republicans spent Tuesday discussing whether to leave Reid's fundamental alteration in place so that all that's needed to confirm a nominee is a simple majority, or to revert to the requirement that 60 votes are needed for cloture — or to cut-off a filibuster, according to Politico.

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois, said the GOP senators were leaning toward keeping things as they are.

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said "It's hypocrisy for us to have complained bitterly when they changed it and for us not to change it."

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said he'd stick with the 51-vote threshold. "I think it was a mistake when Harry Reid broke the Senate rules to change the Senate rules," Cruz told reporters. "But once it's done, I don't think we should go back.

"I don't think there should be one rule for Democrats and one rule for Republicans," he said, Politico reported.

Some Republicans suggested that if the rule was to be changed it should be done with Democratic support and a vote of two-thirds of the Senate.

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, who led the fight against Reid's rule change, has publicly said only that, "It's impossible to un-ring a bell, so the precedent is there, unfortunately."

He added, "There are points of view on both sides of this," Bloomberg reported.

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Now that they are taking control of the Senate, Republicans can decide whether to maintain a filibuster rule they bitterly opposed when it was passed in November 2013 by the Democratic majority, but they might leave it in place, Politico reported.
harry reid, filibuster, nominations, majority
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2014-47-10
Wednesday, 10 Dec 2014 07:47 AM
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