Senate Republicans, in a final protest before the holiday break against what they’ve called a Democratic “power grab,” are staging an around-the-clock speech-spree to stall some of President Obama’s nominees.
The clash started overnight after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., tried to smooth the way for votes on 11 nominees. Republicans objected, in large part out of consternation that the Democratic majority recently weakened their ability to block nominations.
Republicans, though, still have the power to drag out the process, and were doing so — with the floor speeches, the Senate could be in session continuously into Saturday, or longer.
“If we have to work through Christmas, we’re going to do that,” Reid said, repeating what has become one of his regular holiday season refrains.
Early Thursday morning, the Senate approved the first of the nominations, voting 51-44 to confirm Cornelia “Nina” Pillard to the influential D.C. Circuit court. Once the Senate takes up the nominations, they must all be dealt with before lawmakers can take up any other business, including the tentative budget deal or the defense authorization bill.
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