McConnell said that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had threatened to “break the rules to change the rules” by using the nuclear option, which allows the majority to change the rules during a congressional session. But Reid said he had no intention to do so.
On Tuesday, Reid filed a cloture motion on the nomination of Srinivasan. That vote will be held Thursday. Reid said that if cloture were invoked, he would keep the Senate in session into the weekend in order to confirm the nominee. Reid said it was that important because the nominee had been waiting for nearly a year, and the D.C. Circuit Court is operating with three vacancies.
McConnell accused Reid of creating a “manufactured crisis,” adding that Democrats wanted to confirm Srinivasan as quickly as possible because they want to “stack the court.”
“The real issue here is, they’re trying to stack the court,” McConnell said. “The Majority Leader has fessed up. … Why it needs to get done this week is that he doesn’t like what the D.C. Circuit Court is doing.”
McConnell said that Republicans have been cooperative with President Obama’s nominees, pointing out that in his second term, the Senate has confirmed 19 of his judicial nominees, where former President George W. Bush only had four at this point. But Reid said that the wait time for Obama’s nominees have been nine times longer than Bush’s.