Declaring that the country faces a presidential nominations crisis, the Senateâ€™s top Democrat vowed Sunday to press ahead with showdown votes this week that could end up rewriting Senate rules to power through President Obamaâ€™s team, but also threatens to end the comity that is essential to the chamberâ€™s operations.
Sen. Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, said he wants to tweak the rules to stop Republicans from being able to filibuster when Mr. Obama nominates someone to fill an executive branch or independent agency job â€” though Mr. Reid would continue to allow filibusters for judges.
â€œThe changes weâ€™re making are very, very minimal. What weâ€™re doing is saying, â€˜Look, American people, shouldnâ€™t President Obama have somebody working for him that he wants?â€™â€ Mr. Reid said on NBCâ€™s â€œMeet the Pressâ€ program as he defended the â€œnuclear optionâ€ to change the rules.
Under that scenario, Mr. Reid would use the Democratsâ€™ majority in the chamber to overturn decades of precedent â€” which amounts to a rules change when it comes to parliamentary procedure â€” and establish that nonjudicial nominees are not debatable to the same degree as bills.
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