Harry Reid goes nuclear!
Yesterday, majority rule finally returned to the U.S. Senate. After five years of Republican obstruction, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid invoked the so-called “nuclear option,” with 52 Democrats voting to reform the filibuster. Since President Obama took office, Republicans have used the filibuster more than any other time in our history. And, they have held up more than 1,000 executive nominees to courts and federal agencies.
Back in July, Senator Reid tried to make a deal with Republicans to avert the nuclear option. Reid vowed to leave existing rules in place if Republicans agreed to allow a vote on some of President Obama's nominees. But, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to hold up his end of that bargain, and blocking three presidential appointments to the all-important D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Finally, enough was enough for Harry Reid and the Democrats, and they voted to change the filibuster rules.
For five years, Republicans have used the filibuster to block the President's choices for important agencies like the EPA, the DC Circuit Court, the National Labor Relations Board, and even the Department of Defense. They have used the procedural maneuver as a weapon, to prevent these agencies from functioning, or to hold on to Republican control of high-profile courts. The level of obstruction was unprecedented, and the nuclear option was far over-due.