McConnell: GOP agenda should deter Democrats from changing Senate rules

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McConnell said Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has been talking about using the “nuclear option” — voting to change the rules of the Senate with a majority vote — because Republicans have been delaying President Obama’s cabinet and judicial nominations. McConnell said if Democrats set that precedent, he’d have a hard time telling his party that they too couldn’t do the same thing.

“I’d be hard pressed to say to our members — precedent having been set  — why should we confine it to nominations,” McConnell said.

McConnell said he’s “tired” of the “culture of intimidation” from the Majority Leader.

“ 'Do what I want to do, when I want to do it or I’ll change the rules of the Senate by breaking the rules of the Senate’. It’s a threat that’s been hanging over this institution for the last few months,” McConnell said. “Senators shouldn’t have to walk on eggshells around here. 

“I want the culture of intimidation around here in the Senate to end.”

Reid has said he won’t use the nuclear option, but has pointed out that Republicans aren’t keeping their end of a deal that was reached at the beginning of the 113th Congress, in order to avoid changing the Senate rules. Republicans agreed that they would not obstruct Obama’s nominees unless there were “extraordinary circumstances,” but Reid said Republicans have gone back on that deal.