Blumenthal Backs \’Nuclear Option\’ on Obama Nominees, But Parties Broker A Deal

by Categorized: Congress Date:

Update: It appears the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Democrats will not move to change Senate rules on the filibuster–for now. Reid indicated Tuesday morning that a deal had been reached with Republicans to allow most of the nominations to move forward to up-or-down votes.

In exchange, Democrats will agree to swap out two nominees to the National Labor Relations Board that President Barack Obama had appointed during a congressional recess. 

Among the nominees caught in the Senate logjam is Gina McCarthy, the president\’s pick for head of the Environmental Protection Agency. McCarthy was Connecticut\’s Commissioner of Environmental Protection from 2004 to 2009.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal\’s staff told Capitol Watch late Monday night that the Democratic senator would support for executive branch nominations what some in Washington are calling the \”nuclear option\”: a change in Senate rules that would allow a filibuster to be broken by a simple majority of 51 votes, instead of the current 60. \"Blumenthal\"

\”Washington isn’t working. The system is broken. The major culprit is arcane, anti-democratic rules that I’ve consistently opposed before and during my service in the Senate,\” he said in a statement on Monday.

There\’s no word yet from Sen. Chris Murphy\’s staff about whether he would support the \’nuclear option\’ rule change. But Senate logjams have drawn the ire of others in Connecticut\’s congressional delegation:

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Reuters has reported that the entire Senate met for several hours Monday night to discuss Republicans blocks on seven of President Barack Obama\’s nominees.Senators emerged without an agreement and were headed for a showdown today over the use of filibusters.

Republicans have strongly condemned the possible change in the Senate rules and vowed to retaliate if they gain the majority in the next election. The current set-up gives the GOP significant leverage in the chamber, because the Democrats only hold 54 seats.

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4 thoughts on “Blumenthal Backs \’Nuclear Option\’ on Obama Nominees, But Parties Broker A Deal

  1. Connecticut is Circling the Drain

    Once again, Democrats are rewriting rules that have stood the test of time to pursue a liberal agenda. It’s always a means to an end with “progressives” who accuse the other side moving too far to the right.

    Liberals live in a parallel universe.

  2. Lorenzo

    “Washington isn’t working. The system is broken. The major culprit is arcane, anti-democratic rules that I’ve consistently opposed before and during my service in the Senate,”

    That’s classic! The first act of office is to swear an oath or affirmation to the Constitution that outlines the powers that the office holder wields. With the full understanding that that Constitution is the document that “limits” government power, you then advocate for rules that allow you to circumvent the limitations placed before you. What the good Senator Blumenthal (who served in Vietnam) is saying is, for the minority it’s advice and consent, for the majority, it’s, screw you.

  3. Greg

    And when the Senate swings back to GOP control (eventually) it will be the Democrats filibustering with impunity and they’ll declare it’s to “preserve the democratic process” or whatever claptrap they say. The Republican majority will then cry foul and whine about how unfair it is for the minority party to hold up the legislative process and all the same nonsense. We can dig up all these articles and change the names to save time re-writing the obvious.

    Round and round we go.

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