McConnell to Reid: I Can Go More Nuclear Than You

Image: McConnell to Reid: I Can Go More Nuclear Than You

Tuesday, 18 Jun 2013 03:34 PM

By Melanie Batley

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has issued a stark warning to his Democrat counterpart: If Harry Reid eliminates the filibuster on presidential nominations the GOP will end the 60-vote requirement for all legislation when it regains control of the chamber.

"There is no doubt in my mind that if the majority breaks the rules of the Senate to change the rules of the Senate with regard to nominations, the next majority will do it for everything," the Kentucky Republican said on the Senate floor, according to Talking Points Memo.

GOP lawmakers who play a key role in the confirmation process of presidential appointees have taken issue with several of President Barack Obama's second-term selections whom they see as too partisan.

With at least six key judicial and cabinet nominees pending, Reid has threatened to take the matter into his own hands by changing the rules to a simple majority in order to get the appointments through Congress.

McConnell said, "I wouldn't be able to argue, a year and a half from now if I were the majority leader, to my colleagues that we shouldn't enact our legislative agenda with a simple 51 votes, having seen what the previous majority just did. I mean there would be no rational basis for that."

McConnell illustrated his threat saying that with new voting rules a Republican-led Senate would immediately repeal Obamacare, lift the ban on oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, and repeal the estate tax.

Reid has referred to his past threats to change the filibuster rules as "the nuclear option."


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