Senator Harry Reid
Today in the Senate 52 Democrats lead by majority leader Harry Reid voted to change the rules of the Senate eliminating the ability of the minority party, at this time the Republicans, to filibuster presidential nominations both of executive branch positions and for judges.
I am going to refer to this rule change as the No More Rand Paul’s rule.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s big claim to fame was his more than 12 hour talking filibuster of President Obama’s nominee to lead the Central Intelligence Agency because he wanted the administration to make it clear they didn’t have the authority to target an American citizen on US soil with a drone.
In more recent days Texas Senator Ted Cruz and others have been using the rules of the Senate to filibuster(non-talking) some of President Obama’s nomination to the Federal bench.
This has outraged Senate minority leader Harry Reid(D-NV) who today made it impossible for Republican Senators to hold up any of President Obama’s nomination.
Many of President Obama’s nominees are far left wing radicals with radical views on a wide range of issues who are not qualified to hold the offices he has nominated them to.
Obama’s nominee to lead the Department of Homeland Security is partially responsible for Immigration and Customs Enforcement not being able to enforce existing federal immigration law.
Obama’s nominee to lead the Federal Reserve wants to continue the Fed’s money printing, Wall Street propping Quantitative Easing policies.
One of Obama’s judicial nominees is an extreme radical in her views of abortion.
And there are dozens more in the nomination pipeline to go along with the other questionable nominations President Obama has already made in his first 5 years in office including Attorney General Eric Holder and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius among others.
Fox News has more on todays Senate rule change.
Senate Democrats bowled over Republicans on Thursday to win approval for a highly controversial rule change which would limit the GOP’s ability to block nominees, in a move Republicans called a “raw power grab.”
“It’s a sad day in the history of the Senate,” Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said after the vote.
Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., moving quickly following days of speculation, used the so-called “nuclear option” to pass the change. Typically, major changes like this take 67 votes, but he did it with just a simple majority.
With Republicans fuming, the change weakens the power of the minority to stall nominations for top positions. Instead of needing 60 votes to break a filibuster, the change means Democrats will now need just 51.
Republicans charged that Democrats were merely trying to shift focus away from ObamaCare with the move.
“Today we face a real crisis in the confirmation process, a crisis concocted by the Democrat majority to distract attention from the ObamaCare disaster and, in the process, consolidate more power than any majority has had in more than 200 years,” Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said in a statement immediately following the historic vote.
“It sounds to me like Harry Reid is trying to change the subject and if I were taking all the incoming fire that he’s taking over Obamacare, I’d try to change the subject too,” House Speaker John Boehner said.
Reid won approval for the change on a 52-48 vote.
Regardless of Reid’s underlying motivations, the vote Thursday marks a major change in Senate rules. The filibuster, for better or worse, has been a defining feature of the Senate for decades. While this makes the Senate one of the slowest-moving legislative bodies in the world, it also prevents legislation and appointments from moving too fast.
The vote on Thursday vastly reduces the power of the minority to stall nominations and makes it easier for federal judges to get lifetime appointments.
The so called Nuclear Option which Senator Harry Reid executed today was first floated in 2005 by Senate Republicans in order to get around Democrats blocking virtually all of President Bush’s judicial nominees.
At the time Senate Democrats including Harry Reid objected to and opposed to proposed rule change.
Of course that opposition to changing the filibuster rule has since gone away as Democrats have gone from being the minority in the Senate to being the majority.