Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFixing Congress requires fixing how it legislates McConnell: GOP should focus on future, not 'rehash' 2020 Hoyer: Democrats 'committed' to Oct. 31 timeline for Biden's agenda MORE (R-Ky.) warned Democrats on Thursday that they’d regret using the “nuclear option.”
“You’ll regret this and you may regret this a lot sooner than you think,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.
Republicans had blocked up-or-down votes on three of Obama’s nominees to the D.C. Circuit Court — Robert Wilkins, Cornelia Pillard and Patricia Millett. And Caitlin Halligan withdrew her nomination because of GOP threats to block her confirmation.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) threatened to use the “nuclear option” to overturn the vote with a simple-majority. Reid said it was necessary because Republican obstruction had prevented the Senate from legislating. McConnell said Reid would be “breaking the rules to change the rules.”
Reid has threatened to use the nuclear option several times this year. But each time lawmakers gathered to discuss alternatives. At the beginning of the year Republicans vowed not to filibuster any of President Obama’s nominees unless there were “extraordinary circumstances” but Democrats say the GOP has reneged on that promise.
“This rules change charade has gone from a biannual threat to a annual threat to a quarterly threat,” McConnell said. “How many times have we been threatened? … We’re not interested in having a gun put to our heads any longer.”