Senate Democrats are now employing the filibusters they disparaged when in the majority, which is now frustrating Republicans as they try to pass their agenda.
When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to bring the Senate Iran nuclear deal bill to the Senate floor, he gave in
to his Democratic colleagues after they threatened to filibuster the legislation.
After several Democratic filibusters on the Department of Homeland Security funding bill, McConnell expressed a similar sentiment often heard from the former Democratic majority.
"I think it would be pretty safe to say we're stuck because of Democratic obstruction on the Senate side," McConnell said
while speaking to reporters.
This is nothing new, veteran senators tell the Washington Post.
"I think people have short memories,' said Alabama Republican Sen. Richard C. Shelby, who has been in the Senate for 29 years. "They're doing what they blamed us for doing. That’s politics. It’s raw politics."
According to The Post, the Democrats have managed to stop the Republicans eight times, putting the minority party on a similar pace as the Republicans when they were in the minority.
House Republicans called on the Senate to employ the much decried "nuclear option" during the DHS funding debate, which allows the majority leader to unilaterally dispense with Senate rules so that bills can pass with a simple majority.
However, McConnell stuck to his promise to only employ such a rule change if he has the support of two-thirds of the majority.
When Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid
was the majority leader, he employed the "nuclear option" so that Democrats wouldn't need 60 votes to confirm presidential judicial nominees.
Shelby told The Post "that since the Democrats have already changed the rule on nominations and stacked the courts, that we ought to seriously consider going to 51 votes on everything. I know that changes the Senate, but the Senate’s already changed."
Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain is on the other side of the issue and wants the Republicans to return to requiring 60 votes on everything.
"I think we’re making a serious mistake by not repealing the nuclear option," McCain said.
The former presidential candidate said that there is no need for the Senate if all it would take to pass a measure was a simple majority.
"Then, I think, the next move should be a constitutional amendment to combine the two bodies," he added.
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