As you can see in the graphic, Senate Republicans have brought the nation’s top legislative body close to a standstill. As Majority Leader Reid said a few minutes ago, “- “Can anyone say the Senate is working now? I don’t think so!”
But it’s worse than that; as Jonathan Capehart wrote yesterday, “The GOP is out to destroy the country.” And we’ve seen it over and over again, on issues of all types, as Republicans completely abuse the filibuster, something that’s not even in the constitution, I’d point out. Anyway, it now may be coming to a head. I’m watching the debate on CSPAN right now. Check it out.
P.S. After Reid proposed no more filibusters on judicial or executive nominees, except for Supreme Court, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell began ranting and raving about…yep, you guess it, “Obamacare!” Yep, these people are nothing if not monomaniacal. Oh, and of course, he’s also blaming his own caucus’ disgraceful behavior on…yep, the Democrats. Hahahaha.
UPDATE 11:09 am: The Senate is now voting to reconsider the nomination of Patricia Millett to serve on the D.C. Circuit. Sen. Kaine’s statement on that one is available here.
UPDATE 11:13 am: Sen. Warner tweets, “It’s time to break this gridlock: Senate voting a 2nd time on Va’s very qualified Patricia Millett for DC circuit court.”
UPDATE 11:19 am: Senators Warner and Kaine both voted “aye.”
UPDATE 11:27 am: Joshua Israel of Think Progress tweets, “This the the motion to RECONSIDER the rejected cloture on Millett. Collins and Murkowski voted for cloture originally.”
UPDATE 11:27 am: The vote was 57-40 (and 3 voting present), so cloture fails. Sen. Reid moves to reconsider the Millett nomination. Sen. McConnell now asking ridiculous rhetorical questions about how wonderful Republicans have supposedly been.
UPDATE 11:31 am: The NY Times reports, “Senate Democrats on Thursday moved toward a vote to drastically limit Republican efforts to block President Obama’s nominees, a change that would mark the most fundamental shift in the way the Senate functions in more than a generation. Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, set in motion a series of procedural steps that, if followed through, would eliminate the use of the filibuster against nominees to cabinet posts and the federal judiciary.”
UPDATE 11:32 am: Senate now voting on Sen. McConnell’s motion to adjourn until 5 pm today.
UPDATE 11:40 am: Both Senators Warner and Kaine vote no on McConnell’s motion.
UPDATE 11:46 am: By a 54-46 vote, the motion to adjourn has been defeated. The roll is now being called to reconsider the Millett nomination.
UPDATE 12:04 pm: Senators Warner and Kaine both voted “aye.” The motion to reconsider the Millett nomination passes by a simple majority. Wow.
UPDATE 12:09 pm: Politico reporter @mkraju tweets, “Reid can now raise a point of order that a simple majority should be able to move nominations; Chair rules no. Senate will overturn.” In other words, Harry Reid has pulled the trigger on the “nuclear” option. Go Harry!
UPDATE 12:17 pm: HuffPo reporter Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) tweets, “The vote happening now is the big one. In classic senate fashion, a no means yes. If a majority votes no, filibuster is gone for nominees.” Gotta love the Senate! LOL
UPDATE 12:20 pm: Dems should have done this years ago…this is looooong overdue!
this is loooooong overdue. Oh, and President Obama needed to stop hoping Republicans would be reasonable back in the spring of 2009.
UPDATE 12:28 pm: NY Times reporter @jonathanweisman tweets, “Three Senate Democrats have voted against obliterating the filibuster on judges: Levin, Manchin and Pryor.” Still should be enough for the “nuclear option” to pass.
UPDATE 12:31 pm: Quick review of what brought this about – Republicans have been suppressing votes, using the filibuster, using the hold, gerrymandering, you name it – everything to block the will of the majority. In so doing, they have made Congress completely dysfunctional. Finally, Senate Dems have said “enough is enough.” It’s about freakin’ time.
UPDATE 12:33 pm: By a 52-48 vote, the ruling of the chair is not sustained.