Anger over last year's filibuster fight rekindles on Senate floor
April 10th, 2014
06:30 PM ET
4 months ago

Anger over last year's filibuster fight rekindles on Senate floor

Washington (CNN) - Fallout from last year's fight over filibuster rules in the Senate is still being felt on Capitol Hill.

Senators had hoped to finish their work and begin a two week spring recess Thursday but instead ran into a roadblock when Democrats and Republicans clashed over whether to quickly confirm two presidential nominees before leaving.

In a spirited back-and-forth, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sparred with his Republican counterpart, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and other GOP leaders over who was to blame for the slow pace of clearing executive and judicial nominations. A frustrated Reid called all senators to the chamber to complain Republicans were using parliamentary rules to require up to 30 hours of debate on a judicial nominee yet no one had taken the floor to speak.

"Why in the world would we want to waste 30 hours?" Reid asked. "That's what we're doing."

He asked for immediate votes on Michelle Friedland to be a judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and another nominee, David Weil, to be the Administrator of the Hour and Wage division at the Department of Labor.

Republicans, who were frustrated Reid set up votes on the nominees on the day they were preparing to leave town, rejected the proposal and offered instead to hold the votes when senators return from recess–something Reid refused to accept.

Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, said Democrats poisoned the atmosphere when they changed Senate filibuster over the objections of Republicans.

"We're working under the rules that the majority changed by ignoring the rules of the United States Senate in November," Grassley bellowed.

McConnell said Reid "broke his word" when the rules were changed and blasted him for routinely refusing to allow Republicans to offer floor amendments.

"Despite his heavy handed behavior he expects the minority to simply expedite, in the case of the mater we're discussing, lifetime appointments," McConnell complained. "We're simply exercising our rights under the rules of the Senate."

Reid accused Republicans of purposely slowing down the Senate in an effort to win control of it in the upcoming mid-term elections.

"Never in the history of our great republic have we had a party, a minority party, that is determined to do nothing, hoping it will get them the majority in November," he said.

Unable to reach a compromise, Reid scheduled votes on the nominees for Friday at 5 p.m. ET.


Filed under: Congress • Senate
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Smitty

    Reid along with the rest of them needs to be in prison

    April 10, 2014 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    Hope they both get rejected. Reid is the primary reason nothing gets done in Washington.

    April 10, 2014 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "McConnell said Reid "broke his word" when the rules were changed "

    There's a concept in contract law called "prior breach." If you breach first, you don't get to sue the other person for breaching the contract. The GOP/Teatrolls breached first when they promised not to abuse the filibuster and proceeded to set record after record after record for using it to obstruct almost anything that came to the floor, clearly abusing the living crap out of it. So suck it up McConnell. The prior breach was yours.

    April 10, 2014 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  4. RWB1956

    I'm shocked.

    April 10, 2014 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  5. Name Fred

    Gonna sweep the EUC under the rug, right before spring break! Classic, you can ignore it but we won't forget in November!

    April 10, 2014 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  6. MIa

    Well the two parties are growing more and more apart and I'm quite sure the Democrats have done this before. In the end, this is simply a race for who has more power in the government between Republicans and Democrats. Plus, unlike Democrats whom are a firm party as a whole in their beliefs, the Republicans vary quite immensely so that may also play perhaps a minor party in such delays. They're not exactly the most united.
    Hope they come to a good compromise. ^u^ I shall keep my hopes up despite what may actually occur.

    April 10, 2014 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  7. Gunderson

    Well,
    Never in our History have we had a nearly 18 Trillion Dollar Federal Debt.

    April 10, 2014 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  8. J.V.Hodgson

    He should add Sibelius replacement to the vote as well. This is simply crazy they have had to pass senate review committees and another 30 hours is simply delaying tactics that achieve nothing other than childish peevishness
    Hodgson

    April 10, 2014 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  9. ghost

    2014 cannot get her fast enough!!!

    April 10, 2014 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  10. Lizzie

    Harry Reid always blames someone else, yet he could have brought it up more then 5 minutes before he wanted to leave. Surprised he didn't blame the Koch Brother, the American terrorists and the tea party.

    April 10, 2014 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  11. Chris-E...al

    TERM LIMITS . Excuce me gag . Are in 0rder ! Please . plz .

    April 10, 2014 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  12. maria harris

    Its Very Funny To See Well Educated People Bicker Like Children With The Brillant Ryan Buget I Would Like To Know With The Closing Of Sum Stores And Medicaid Can We Get On John And Ryan Health Insurance Plans And Pay Roll
    And Last But Not Least Unemployment Benefits Have Been Taken Out Of Every American Who Work Payroll I Would Like To Know Can I Get Mine

    April 11, 2014 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  13. Mr. Balls

    The Senate should forego the Easter break in order to do the people's work.

    April 11, 2014 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  14. Miami Mike

    Time to bring in the IRS and NSA to put some pressure on those Republican obstructionists! Bet they'll start "cooperating" after a few tax audits and phone tap records get published.

    April 11, 2014 04:38 am at 4:38 am |
  15. salty dog

    As the gop leads its faithful to the slaughter house.

    April 11, 2014 07:38 am at 7:38 am |