Reid sets up votes on nominees

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidAbortion rights group ads tie vulnerable GOP senators to Trump Senate Dems shun GOP vulnerables Congress departs for recess until after Election Day MORE (D-Nev.) tried Monday to confirm all executive and judicial nominations on the executive calendar — more than 70 of President Obama’s nominees.

Reid asked for unanimous consent to confirm them all, but Sen. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderLawmakers pledge push for cures bill in lame-duck Overnight Regulation: Lawsuits pile up against Obama overtime rule The American people are restive, discouraged and sometimes suicidal MORE (R-Tenn.) objected because he was still upset that the majority used the “nuclear option” to change the Senate filibuster rules.

Reid then filed cloture on just 10 of the nominees. Starting Wednesday, the Senate will likely spend the rest of the week voting on the nominee, which included Jeh Johnson to be Secretary of Homeland Security.

The rule change, which occurred before the two-week Thanksgiving break, allows a simple majority of senators to end debate on an executive nominee — before 60 votes were needed meaning the Minority Party's rights to filibuster have been limited.

“How am I suppose to serve in the Senate when they change the rules?” Alexander said on the Senate floor.

Alexander argued that Republicans are simply trying to use their constitutional right of advise and consent on nominees and that Reid was simply trying to “manufacture a crisis.” 

But Reid said that argument was “as flat as a bottle of beer that has been opened for three months.” Reid said Republicans broke their promise to block only nominees in “extraordinary circumstances.”

Republicans warned that Democrats would regret the change once they are in the minority.