Dems block GOP challenge of rule change
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellUN contacted Trump administration on ObamaCare repeal: report Congress nears deal on help for miners Shutdown fears spur horse-trading MORE (R-Ky.) tried to challenge a Senate rule change that allows the majority to end debate on a nominee with a simple majority.

Sens. Carl LevinCarl LevinFor the sake of American taxpayers, companies must pay their fair share What the Iran-Contra investigation can teach us about Russia probe Senate about to enter 'nuclear option' death spiral MORE (D-Mich.) and Joe ManchinJoe ManchinCongress nears deal on help for miners Senate votes to confirm Rosenstein as deputy attorney general Congress nears deal on help for miners MORE (D-W.Va.) voted with Republicans against the rule of the chair on Tuesday.

ADVERTISEMENT
Last month, Senate Democrats unilaterally changed the rules. The rule change means only 51 votes are needed to end a filibuster on nominations below the level of the Supreme Court.

The move outraged Republicans, who said Democrats had severely undermined minority rights in the upper chamber. Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidWeek ahead: House to revive Yucca Mountain fight Warren builds her brand with 2020 down the road 'Tuesday Group' turncoats must use recess to regroup on ObamaCare MORE (D-Nev.) triggered the nuclear option to make the change. It allows the Senate’s rules to be changed by a majority vote.

The Senate is voting to end debate on the nomination of Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) to be the next director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Watt could be confirmed as earlier as Tuesday evening.

Also on Tuesday, the Senate confirmed Patricia Millett to the D.C. Circuit Court, making her the first nominee of President Obama’s to clear the Senate since the filibuster rule change.