Monday, June 20, 2011

House Republicans Request the Nuclear Option

Steve Benen has a good item today on House GOP efforts to prevent recess appointments, along with continued Senate obstruction of executive branch nominations. See his post for details.

What he doesn't point out is that there's an obvious remedy available to Democrats: Harry Reid and Democratic Senators could simply decide to end supermajority requirements for confirming those appointments.

This is pretty straightforward. Washington runs by rules and norms. If one side violates the norms and finds creative ways to use the rules to their advantage, then the other side should, and in time almost certainly will, find ways to fight back. So far, Harry Reid and the Democrats have been slow to do so...whether it was having 60 Senators for a good part of the 111th Congress, a lack of apparent interest from the White House, or perhaps some hesitation after electoral losses in November, the Democrats have basically been passive observers to GOP manipulation of the rules (remember: until 2009, partisan filibusters of executive branch nominations were rare; since then, they've been constant).

Republicans are basically begging Democrats to resort to the nuclear option of simply ending the filibuster, at least on executive branch nominations, by simple majority vote. Odds are they'll get what they're asking for, sooner or later.

Sooner, by the way, if liberals make more of a fuss about it, which seems to be happening only occasionally.

1 comment:

  1. Is this the sort of fuss you recommend?

    "Senator Schumer, I urge you to address the many pending presidential nominations, by revising Senate rules on cloture. I urge you to revise these rules now, so that all executive branch nominations can be confirmed by a simple majority of Senators."


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Who links to my website?