Reid Passes 'Nuclear Option,' Changes Rules on Filibuster
Historic vote means presidential nominees need simple majority
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 21, 2013 11:40 AM CST
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(Newser) – The so-called "nuclear option" just happened: The Senate voted to weaken filibusters and make it all but impossible for Republicans to block confirmation of the president's nominees for judges and other top posts, reports the AP. While the filibuster can't be used on those nominations, it's still fair game on legislation and for Supreme Court nominees. The mostly party-line vote on the historic move was 52-48, and this line from the New York Times fits the general tone of the coverage: "The change is the most fundamental shift in the way the Senate functions in more than a generation."

Party leaders traded shots like these before the vote: “It’s time to change the Senate before this institution becomes obsolete," said Harry Reid, as per Politico. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell countered, "You’ll regret this, and you might regret it even sooner than you might think." For the record, the "nuclear option" refers to Reid changing the Senate rules via a majority vote, explains the Hill. In the short term, it means that three of President Obama's stalled appointments to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals will be able to move forward.

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Showing 3 of 310 comments
ski99
Dec 4, 2013 2:17 PM CST
he, like others, also except his employees from obama care ... this from a big support of "it's good for everyone but me & mine".
okaragozian
Nov 25, 2013 6:24 PM CST
The Constitution is silent on filibuster. Here is the history: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filibuster_in_the_United_States_Senate
farleyj1
Nov 24, 2013 12:08 PM CST
Congress and senate can't agree on anything except on how to screw with the middle class and poor's benefits entitlements that most of us earned and don't abuse and are not freeloaders like they love to call us. If anything theit the freeloaders. Abusing taxpayer money and getting away with it.