Harry Reid Nukes the Senate
By now, you’ve probably heard the news that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) decided to enact a fundamental change in the way the United States Senate conducts its business. Previously, the decision to end debate regarding presidential nominees for judicial positions required 60 votes, which had been difficult to obtain no matter which party held the majority.
The result is the filibuster, a time-honored tactic allowing a minority party the chance to slow down the proceedings, often until a bipartisan compromise can be reached. But with the strident discord in recent years, both Republicans (when they were in power) and now the reigning Democrats have threatened to change the Senate rules and allow a simple majority vote to close debate and end a filibuster. This is what has been referred to in the media as the so-called “nuclear option.”
Until a few days ago, both parties were loathe to end the filibuster right, seeing it as a legitimate political tool that both parties have benefited from over the years. However, Democrats have become increasingly frustrated with Republican stalling tactics that have created a backlog in presidential nominees to judge positions.
Senator Reid’s call for a vote on the matter culminated in a 52-48 win. For now, no more nominee filibusters. (Derek Dowell – VNN) (Image: Flickr | The Official CTBTO Photostream)