Reid: Dems could force Senate vote on Garland

Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday left the door open for Democrats to potentially use a procedural tactic to force a vote on Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. 

“We have a couple of options, and we’re deciding when to do that and if we should do it — when and if,” Reid told reporters during a conference call. “I’ve been in touch with some of my senators during the break to determine that.”
{mosads}Reid didn’t specify how Democrats could bring Garland’s nomination to the Senate floor, but said they had some “extreme” options that would ultimately need more than 50 votes to succeed. 
“It all boils down to whether you have more than 50 votes. If you don’t have more than 50 votes … most of it is not for anything other than a little drama,” he said. 
Democrats currently hold 44 seats, in addition to Independent Sens. Angus King (Maine) and Bernie Sanders (Vt.), who caucus with them.
One option could be using a discharge resolution to bypass Republicans on the Senate floor and try to force the nomination out of the Judiciary Committee, where it has been waylaid by Sen. Chuck Grassley’s (R-Iowa) refusal to give Garland a hearing.
Reid’s comments come amid a months-long entrenched fight over Garland’s nomination after President Obama nominated him in March.
GOP leadership has pledged to keep the seat open until next year, allowing Obama’s successor to fill the vacancy created by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death. 
Reid blasted the GOP, repeating a frequent line of criticism that Republicans are holding the seat open for their party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, whom Reid called “a bigot who’s clearly unfit for office.” 
“As long as they’re holding a Supreme Court seat open for him, they’re his minions, they’re his enablers,” Reid said.
“If they want to separate themselves from Donald Trump, and heaven knows they should, what they should do is call on McConnell to confirm Garland.” 
Reid floated in April that Democrats could try to bring up Garland’s nomination, though they would need the support of more than a dozen GOP senators to ultimately be successful. 
Two GOP senators — Mark Kirk (Ill.) and Susan Collins (Maine) — currently back allowing Garland to have a hearing. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) hinted that Garland would get more support during a lame-duck session if Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton wins in November. 
Tags Angus King Bernie Sanders Chuck Grassley Donald Trump Harry Reid Hillary Clinton Jeff Flake Mark Kirk Susan Collins

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video