The HillTube

Reid prepares for nuclear option

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday said he's ready to trigger the “nuclear option” to ensure majority votes on judicial and executive branch nominees.

The change would prevent the minority party from forcing a 60-vote majority on anything other than nominations to the Supreme Court.

“It’s time to change the Senate before this institution becomes obsolete,” Reid said on the Senate floor.

“The American people believe Congress is broken. The American people believe the Senate is broken. And I agree.”

ADVERTISEMENT
The move is intended to win confirmation of three of President Obama’s judicial nominees that have been held up by Senate Republicans, who have also slowed a number of administration nominees.

Reid can change the Senate rules with a majority vote, something known as the nuclear option because critics warn it would obliterate bipartisan relations in the Senate.

The Senate just after 11 a.m. began voting to end debate on the nomination of Patricia Millett to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the second most powerful court in the nation. If Millet does not win the 60 votes necessary to end debate, Reid is likely to move to change Senate rules.

In his floor comments, Reid said the filibuster had rendered the Senate’s basic duty of confirming presidential nominees “completely unworkable.”

Read more from The Hill.