Sen. Lee slams Reid’s ‘political stunt’ on judicial nominees

“Senator Harry Reid’s action is nothing more than a political stunt designed to distract the American people from the Democrats’ legislative failures,” said Lee in a statement released while Reid was filing cloture on the 17 nominees. “His sudden interest in judicial nominations is a desperate attempt to draw attention away from his party’s failure to address our nation’s economic emergencies.”

Earlier in the afternoon Reid had charged Republicans of gumming up the judicial confirmation process in order to embarrass President Obama and deprive him of a fully operating judicial branch. 

{mosads}”It’s an effort to embarrass the president and not take into consideration 160 million people who don’t have an ability to have their cases tried in an orderly manner,” said Reid.  “[I] am sorry to say it’s because of Republican ideology.”

A handful of Republicans have attempted to slow the confirmation process in the Senate in reprisal for Obama’s recess appointments in January, which they say violated Senate traditions and the Constitution. Because of the Senate’s rules, which protect the minority, a single senator can bring the entire process on a vote to a crawl for any reason.

Although Reid did not mention those controversial appointments in his statement in his floor speech, Lee cited them as a primary reason for Republicans’ ongoing filibuster. 

“After the president made four unconstitutional appointments, we could no longer sustain the same level of cooperation,” explained Lee. “By brazenly ignoring the Senate’s constitutional role in providing ‘advice and consent,’ President Obama made it impossible for Senators to conduct business as usual.”

The Senate adjourned at about 7 p.m. Monday and is set to return at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. 

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