With weakened filibuster, Senate Republicans deliver promised nomination blocks
December 9th, 2013
10:34 PM ET
9 months ago

With weakened filibuster, Senate Republicans deliver promised nomination blocks

Washington (CNN) - The partisan battle over presidential nominations heated up again in the Senate Monday and threatened to dominate the remaining days before the winter recess and crowd out legislation important to both parties.

Senate Republicans, still angry over filibuster changes Democrats made last month, blocked a series of largely non-controversial nominations Democrats tried to clear.

The move came as Democrats announced plans to push confirmation votes over the next two weeks on presidential nominees who were blocked under the old filibuster rules that required 60 votes to move a nominee forward. Under the new rules, which Democrats instituted over the objections of all Republicans and some Democrats, only 51 votes are required to break a filibuster.

A confirmation vote on the first stalled nominee - Patricia Millett, nominated to be a judge on the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit - is scheduled for Tuesday morning after being postponed Monday because weather-related problems prevented several senators from reaching the Capitol.

Reid also set up key procedural votes for Tuesday to break a filibuster of Rep. Mel Watt, D-North Carolina, to a top housing post. When Reid asked for consent to clear roughly 75 nominations, many of them non-controversial, Tennessee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander challenged him, complaining about the "tyranny of the majority" that had created a "Senate without rules."

The confrontation is a sign of the lack of cooperation Republicans warned of before Democrats changed the filibuster rules - known in Capitol Hill lingo as the "nuclear option" because it would so damage relations between the parties.

Reid also took procedural steps to overcome filibusters of 10 presidential appointees, including Jeh Johnson to be secretary of Homeland Security. An aide also said Reid was prepared to force votes to break the filibusters of two other appeals court nominees.


Filed under: Senate
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. MaryM

    Here we go again, more obstruction from the republicans. Please Americans vote these obstructionist out of office

    December 9, 2013 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  2. S. B. Stein

    These Republicans who oppose the nominations because they come from Obama hinder what the Senate is supposed to be doing. If there was something really wrong with these people, then there would be a problem, but there isn't any problem with them. I would wonder what they said when the Democrats did it when a Republican president had nominees to the courts.

    December 9, 2013 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  3. TomInRochNY

    The rules should be changed again. The nominations should go through, except if the senate rejects them with a 60 vote majority. That way the Senate can't play games with our government, just get rid of those nominees they truly find distasteful.

    December 10, 2013 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  4. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Screw the incompetent GOP losers, they will lose the house majority in 2014 because of their obstruction and incompetents, why pay these GOP losers to accomplish NOTHING!!!!!

    December 10, 2013 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    I strongly disagree with the change the Democrats implemented. I think that it would have been better to eliminate the silent filibuster before this change would even be considered.

    December 10, 2013 08:03 am at 8:03 am |