May 20, 2014, 10:29 am
Reid hints at another rule change
By Ramsey Cox
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday blasted Republicans for dragging out the debate clock on President Obama's nominees, hinting he may again change Senate rules.
“Republicans are pouting because we changed the rules,” Reid said on the Senate floor. “I don’t plan to change the rules again today, but how much longer can we put up with this?”
Last year, Senate Democrats used the “nuclear option” to unilaterally change the filibuster rules. Now it’s nearly impossible for the minority party to block most executive and judicial nominees because only a simply majority is needed to end debate rather than the previously required 60 votes.
Some nominees, however, require up to 30 hours of debate. Reid said Republicans are forcing the full debate time yet stand around and do nothing during that time.
“About 140 nominations have been stalled by Republican obstruction,” Reid said. “I would hope they could at least let the nation’s law enforcement officers use all the tools they need.”
Republicans have said Reid’s use of the nuclear option ruined the Senate and minority rights within the body.
The Senate will consider at least three nominations this week.