Senators are digging in for a long fight over President Obama's Supreme Court nominee.
Senators battle for hours over Supreme Court vacancy
Lawmakers in both parties spent hours on the Senate floor Wednesday blasting the other party's rhetoric as Republicans remained united behind blocking Obama's eventual nominee.
Democrats boiled down their argument to three words, repeatedly telling Republicans to "do your job" by agreeing to take up President Obama's pick to succeed Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinGreat Lakes senators seek boost for maritime system Wikileaks: Durbin pushed unknown Warren for Obama bank regulator The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Ill.) called the GOP strategy of keeping the seat vacant until next year "dangerous" and "unprecedented" and warned that Democrats wouldn't drop the issue going into the November election.
Sen. Al FrankenAl FrankenObama takes aim at workers’ non-compete agreements Dem asks for 'highest level of scrutiny' on AT&T-Time Warner deal AT&T-Time Warner merger: Rigged by cozy regulatory relationships? MORE (D-Minn.) said that if Republicans believe the president shouldn't be able to complete all of his job requirements — namely filling a Supreme Court seat — during his final year that they should apply the same logic to incumbent senators.
"If the majority leader sincerely believes that the only way to ensure the voice of the American people is heard is to lop off a last year of an elected official's term, I trust he will make these changes [to Congress]," he said.
But Republicans hit back that Democrats are trying to cut voters out of the process by pushing through a third Supreme Court nominee for Obama during his final year.
Sen. John CornynJohn CornynPotential Cruz challenger: 'Don't close off your options' Report: Investor visa program mainly funds wealthy areas GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election MORE (R-Texas) said that the battle over who replaces Scalia goes beyond who is the next president but "will likely be about who will serve the next 30 years on the Supreme Court."
Republicans add that Democrats are being hypocritical and pointed to previous statements made by Vice President Biden, Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidNevada's Heck won't say who he's backing for president GOP groups ride to rescue in 3 key Senate races Obama seeks down-ballot gains after being midterm loser MORE (D-Nev.) and Sen. Chuck SchumerCharles SchumerReid: 'I have set the Senate' for nuclear option Immigration was barely covered in the debates GOP leaders advise members to proceed with caution on Trump MORE (D-N.Y.) on confirming justices near the end of a Republican president's term as ammunition in their rhetorical battle.
Sen. Mike LeeMike LeeDonald Trump's Mormon PR problem Trump's big worry isn't rigged elections, it's GOP establishment GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election MORE (R-Utah) said that it as important to have "mutual respect" and a "deference to the facts" in the Supreme Court debate, before adding that he wants to "correct a few of the most pernicious errors and inaccuracies, facilities and fabrications" that he believes have been made by Democrats.
Democrats, in turn, referenced previous statements made by Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellRepublicans make M investment in Senate races Pelosi urges end to Pentagon's clawback of soldier overpayments Coffman’s stance on climate change disingenuous, irresponsible MORE (R-Ky.) and Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyFreeing the False Claims Act Key GOP chairman calls for 'robust review' of AT&T-Time Warner deal Report: Investor visa program mainly funds wealthy areas MORE (R-Iowa), the Judiciary Committee chairman.
Reid took a direct shot at Grassley Wednesday, asking if the Iowa Republican wants to remembered as the "least productive" and "most obstructive Judiciary chairman in history."