I’d probably say that whether or not that ship has already sailed is wide open for a reasonable and lively debate, but anyhow, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell had some words for his Democratic counterpart on the Senate floor this afternoon pertaining to his triggering of the “nuclear option.”
That route — of altering Senate procedures and limiting minority rights, specifically in this instance to prevent endless filibusters of presidential nominees after Republicans have stalled a number of Obama’s picks — generally isn’t a popular one, but Harry Reid evidently decided it was worth it to go there. Here’s what happened on the Hill today:
Majority Leader Harry Reid charged on Thursday that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has “broken” his promises to consider President Barack Obama’s executive branch nominations, as the Nevada Democrat prepared to move forward with the “nuclear option” to change Senate rules.
Reid filed cloture on a bloc of seven Obama nominees on Thursday afternoon, setting the stage for a potential vote on invoking the nuclear option on Tuesday. If Republicans continue to filibuster any or all of those presidential selections, the Nevada Democrat will force through his proposed rules change, he told reporters.
Reid’s nuclear option comes in two parts. It would require a simple majority to change Senate rules, rather than the 67 now needed. And it would mean that a filibuster on an executive-branch nominees could be ended with only 51 votes, rather than the 60-vote threshold now in place.
Changing the rules, of course, all sounds fine and dandy when it isn’t your party that’s in the minority, and McConnell was on hand to remind the gentleman of the Senate’s rather changeable nature — and he is in earnest, dear readers. Via Mediaite: