Harry Reid: GOP tactics justify going nuclear
By: Ginger Gibson
December 12, 2013 12:53 PM EST
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Republican pushback against the change in the filibuster rules is evidence that the rewrite was needed.
Senate Republicans took turns speaking through the night on the floor to stall votes for nominees that are being moved under the new rules enacted last month.
“It’s the picture of why we had to change the rules around here, wasting all this time,” Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters on Thursday. “We are wasting all of our time on nominations and not leaving us any time to get to substantive issues.”
Under the new rules agreed to by a majority vote – referred to as the nuclear option – the Senate changed the threshold to approve most presidential nominees by a simple majority instead of the long-held standard of 60 votes.
Reid called on Republicans senators to allow votes on the budget deal and defense authorization to quickly move through the Senate.
“We don’t have a lot of time before Christmas, but we’re going to do those two things and a number of nominations we have to complete,” Reid said. “I understand Republicans are still upset … I can’t wave a magic wand and heal hurt feelings.”
Reid repeatedly pointed to Republicans dragging out nominee votes this week as a defense using the nuclear option.
“I say again, what they’re doing the last few days is a picture of why we had to change the rules, nothing but obstruction in big capital letters,” Reid said.