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Harry goes Nuclear!

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Thread Starter 

Huffington Post

 

Quote:
 Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pulled the trigger Thursday, deploying a parliamentary procedure dubbed the "nuclear option" to change Senate rules to pass most executive and judicial nominees by a simple majority vote.

 

The Senate voted 52 to 48 for the move, with just three Democrats declining to go along with the rarely used maneuver.

From now until the Senate passes a new rule, executive branch nominees and judges nominated for all courts except the Supreme Court will be able to pass off the floor and take their seats on the bench with the approval of a simple majority of senators. They will no longer have to jump the traditional hurdle of 60 votes, which has increasingly proven a barrier to confirmation during the Obama administration.

 

Of course this barrier to confirmation existed not just during the Obama administration but during all administrations.

 

We can also call this the future "tyrannical Republicans hate you and are nominating extremists that will harm and kill you using the very same rules we used to do the people's work" thread.

 

Per Wikipedia the Republicans were just giving the Democrats the same medicine they had dished out. Of course they couldn't take it and of course their motivations allowed them to believe they are quite literally above the rules as they ignored and changed them.

 

Quote:
 

Nuclear option during the Obama presidency

In 2011, with a Democratic majority in the Senate (but not a supermajority), Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) proposed "a sweeping filibuster reform package" to be implemented via the constitutional option but Majority Leader Harry Reid dissuaded them from pushing it forward.[76] In October 2011, however, Reid triggered the nuclear option to make a more modest change in Senate precedents. In a 51-48 vote, the Senate prohibited any motion to waive the rules after a filibuster is defeated.[77][78][79]

Changing Senate precedents with a majority threshold does not reach the level of an actual change in Senate rules. On several occasions in the past, former Senate Majority leader Robert Byrd, used this same procedure to change Senate precedents. On one occasion, he was able to put an end to the post-cloture filibuster by setting a precedent that the Presiding Officer take the initiative to rule dilatory amendments out of order.

The nuclear option was raised again following the congressional elections of 2012.[11]The Hill reported that Democrats will "likely" use the nuclear option in January 2013 to effect filibuster reform,[12] although as of mid-November supporters of filibuster reform did not even have the support of 51 Senators, according to Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.), a leading proponent of the nuclear option.[80]

In the end, negotiation between the two parties resulted in two packages of "modest" amendments to the rules on filibusters that were approved by the Senate on January 24, 2013, without triggering the nuclear option.[81] Changes to the standing orders affecting just the 2013-14 Congress were passed by a vote of 78 to 16, eliminating the minority party's right to filibuster a bill as long as each party has been permitted to present at least two amendments to the bill.[81] Changes to the permanent Senate rules were passed by a vote of 86 to 9.[81]

In July 2013, the nuclear option was raised as nominations were being blocked by Senate Republicans as Senate Democrats prepared to push through a change to the chamber’s filibuster rule.[82] On July 16, John McCain announced an agreement had been made, avoiding a showdown and allowing a vote on nominations.[83]

Use of nuclear option in November 2013

On November 21, 2013, the Senate voted 52-48, with all Republicans and 3 Democrats voting against, to eliminate the use of the filibuster against all executive branch nominees and judicial nominees other than to the Supreme Court. At the time of the vote there were 59 executive branch nominees and 17 judicial nominees awaiting confirmation.[84]

The Democrats' stated motivation for this change was expansion of filibustering by Republicans during the Obama administration, in particular blocking three nominations to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Republicans had asserted that the D.C. Circuit was underworked,[84] and also cited the need for cost reduction by reducing the number of judges in that circuit.[85]

As of November 2013, President Obama’s nominees had faced 79 votes to end debate (called "cloture" votes), compared to just 38 during the preceding eight years under George W. Bush.[86] However, most of those cloture votes successfully ended debate, and therefore most filibustered nominees cleared the filibuster hurdle; Obama won Senate confirmation for 30 out of 42 federal appeals court nominations, compared with Bush's 35 out of 52.[86][87]

Regarding President Obama's federal district court nominations, the Senate approved 143 out of 173 as of November 2013, compared to George W. Bush's first term 170 of 179, Bill Clinton's first term 170 of 198, and George H.W. Bush's 150 of 195.[86][88] Filibusters were used on 20 Obama nominations to U.S. District Court positions,[89] but Republicans ultimately allowed confirmation of 19 out of 20.[90]

 

I had supported Republican attempts to change this rule on the past and I do not mind Democrats changing it now. That really isn't the issue. The issue of course will be why the rule change can't remain in place when Republicans have the majority and they will have the majority again someday, perhaps sooner than imagined as terrible as the ACA has been for most people.

 

Quote:
 

"It's raw power that they're exercising, that, like I say, is a very dangerous thing for them to do," Hatch said. "They're going to rue the day they do it."

But Merkley disagreed, arguing the reform is "about clearing the decks of the Senate so we can actually spend time on legislation, we can actually address the cost of college, actually have job-creation bills on the floor, that we can address issues related to retirement security."

"I feel great," Merkley said. "Since I came here in 2009, I've been absolutely appalled by the dysfunction of this body."

 

 

Reserved for future Merkley quote about being appalled by the level of fringe and extremist Republican judicial nominees being pushed through by Republicans using majority powers she made happen.

 

Democrats will rue the day. Heck they rue everything the moment a Republican is elected. The all the machines were rigged. The people were lied to and their votes were bought while they were being fooled. It is crazy to watch.

 

Reid clearly wanted to move on Obama appointments for a reason. He is desperate. The Senate will have 35 elections in 2014 and of those 20 seats up for grab are being defended by Democrats while 15 are being defended by Republicans. Obama is at 38-39% approval depending upon the poll used and has dropped 20 points since summer. When Bush was at a similar level after Katrina, Republicans lost majorities in both chambers in the following midterms.

 

It's about to get real and what will happen is that after 6 years, no one will be able to pin anything about what Obama and his party have done on anyone else but the Democrats. The argument for change will be clear. Democrats will have controlled the Senate for 8 years. Obama will have been president for 6 years. The election will likely be nationalized around the signature achievement of the Obama administration, the ACA which was passed with Democratic majorities, and bipartisan opposition. It will be argued that Democrats had their chance, they ruled in an extreme manner and that they need to go. It will, in my opinion, be a compelling argument.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #2 of 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post
 

Huffington Post

 

 

Of course this barrier to confirmation existed not just during the Obama administration but during all administrations.

 

We can also call this the future "tyrannical Republicans hate you and are nominating extremists that will harm and kill you using the very same rules we used to do the people's work" thread.

 

Per Wikipedia the Republicans were just giving the Democrats the same medicine they had dished out. Of course they couldn't take it and of course their motivations allowed them to believe they are quite literally above the rules as they ignored and changed them.

 

 

I had supported Republican attempts to change this rule on the past and I do not mind Democrats changing it now. That really isn't the issue. The issue of course will be why the rule change can't remain in place when Republicans have the majority and they will have the majority again someday, perhaps sooner than imagined as terrible as the ACA has been for most people.

 

 

 

Reserved for future Merkley quote about being appalled by the level of fringe and extremist Republican judicial nominees being pushed through by Republicans using majority powers she made happen.

 

Democrats will rue the day. Heck they rue everything the moment a Republican is elected. The all the machines were rigged. The people were lied to and their votes were bought while they were being fooled. It is crazy to watch.

 

Reid clearly wanted to move on Obama appointments for a reason. He is desperate. The Senate will have 35 elections in 2014 and of those 20 seats up for grab are being defended by Democrats while 15 are being defended by Republicans. Obama is at 38-39% approval depending upon the poll used and has dropped 20 points since summer. When Bush was at a similar level after Katrina, Republicans lost majorities in both chambers in the following midterms.

 

It's about to get real and what will happen is that after 6 years, no one will be able to pin anything about what Obama and his party have done on anyone else but the Democrats. The argument for change will be clear. Democrats will have controlled the Senate for 8 years. Obama will have been president for 6 years. The election will likely be nationalized around the signature achievement of the Obama administration, the ACA which was passed with Democratic majorities, and bipartisan opposition. It will be argued that Democrats had their chance, they ruled in an extreme manner and that they need to go. It will, in my opinion, be a compelling argument.

 

The fact that they essentially eliminated the filibuster for judicial appointments doesn't both me.  I've never felt that either party should be able to stop nominees with 41 votes.  That being said, my real issue is the rank hypocrisy of Reid, Obama, Biden et al.  They are all on record slamming Republicans for even discussing the option.  Some go so far as to call it "the end of our democracy."   Yet somehow, they get away with it.  Hell, Obama blatantly lied about the ACA, and he's gotten away with that.  I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. 

I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
Reply
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