After years of threats by the Democratic Senate members and deaf ears by the Republicans in that chamber that obstructionism will no longer be tolerated, the Senate voted today to change its rules to prevent the minority party from filibustering any nominations other than those nominated to the Supreme Court.
The change was approved after raised by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). It was voted on and we now have the famed “nuclear option,” which allows a change to Senate rules on votes on Presidential appointments by a simple majority vote.
The 52-48 vote dramatically changes the rules of the Senate and limits the minority party’s ability to prevent confirmation of presidential nominees. The only three senators not to vote along party lines were Sens. Carl Levin (Mich.), Mark Pryor (Ark.) and Joe Manchin (W.Va.) all Democrats — at least in declared party affiliation.
This passage will allow all three of President Obama’s nominees to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to go forward, as well as his nomination of Rep. Mel Watt to lead a housing regulatory agency.
So, perhaps now the President can get up with his job, and the Senate can get on with theirs.
The Democrats, led by Leader Reid, wasted no time in getting the nomination approved of Patricia Millett to the US Circuit Court in the District of Columbia. One bench vacancy filled, another two to go. Shouldn’t be long now.