McConnell: Dems seeking 51 votes to ‘blow the Senate up’

McConnell said Reid was “manufacturing a
problem” on nominees, and said Obama has had more judicial nominees
confirmed in his second term than President Bush did at the same point.

But Reid said Republican obstructionism is keeping President Obama from picking his team.

“Sen. McConnell said right here on the floor that things
are going just fine here in the Senate, well the American public would
disagree,” Reid said. “Gridlock in the Senate must be fixed.”

Reid said Republicans have held up Obama’s judicial and Cabinet nominees, on average, more than 200 days.

“Davey Johnson is manager of [the Nationals] … but what would the Washington Nationals be like today if he wasn’t able to have the players he wanted?” Reid said on the Senate floor. “That is an example of what is going on here in the United States Senate — the president doesn’t have the team he wants.”

{mosads}Later Thursday, the Senate is going to vote on the nomination of Srikanth Srinivasan to serve on the D.C. Circuit Court. The Senate was supposed to vote on a motion to end debate on the Srinivasan nomination, but Senate leaders were able to come to an agreement to have the final vote Thursday afternoon.

Reid is under pressure from liberal groups and labor unions to change Senate rules on nominations with a majority vote. 

That has drawn fierce pushback from McConnell, who says the rights of the minority in the Senate must be protected.

Reid on Thursday said Republicans had not kept their end of the filibuster bargain that was reached in January, where Republicans agreed not to hold up nominees unless there were “extraordinary circumstances.”

“Back in January, they agreed to work with us on nominees,” Reid said. “We agreed that we would not consider any changes to rules. … We have kept our word, but since we entered that agreement, they have not held up their end of the bargain.”

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