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Senate Invokes ‘Nuclear Option’ As Gorsuch Nomination Heads To Final Vote

Nuclear Explosion

As expected, Senate Republicans invoked the so-called ‘nuclear option’ to move the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch forward to a final vote on Friday.

Senate Headed For ‘Nuclear Option’ Showdown Over Gorsuch Nomination

Neil Gorsuch

Next week’s big news is likely to be the Senate’s vote to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, which could mean invocation of the so-called ‘nuclear option’ by Senate Republicans.

Senate Democratic Leader Schumer Vows To Filibuster Gorsuch Nomination

Neil Gorsuch

Let the games begin.

New Senate Democratic Leader Regrets Supporting Filibuster Reform

Chuck Schumer

The new leader of the Senate’s Democrats says he regrets supporting the filibuster reforms his party passed in 2013.

Key Republican Senators Come Out Against Elimination Of The Filibuster


Senior Republican Senators are throwing cold water on the idea of eliminating the filibuster.

Republicans Suddenly Discover They’re Against The Filibuster


Now that they control all of Congress, some Republicans are suddenly deciding that the filibuster should be repealed.

Senate Republicans May Eliminate Filibuster For Supreme Court Nominees


For some reason, Republicans want to change filibuster rules even though it’s unclear that they’ll still hold the Senate after 2016.

Republican Senators Split On Whether To Reinstate Old Filibuster Rules


The GOP Senate Caucus seems to be split on whether or not to reinstate the filibuster for Presidential and Judicial appointments.

Supreme Court Rejects Legal Challenge To Filibuster


Not unexpectedly, the Supreme Court has declined to hear a case challenging the Constitutionality of the Senate filibuster.

Political Impact Of Filibuster Changes Will Be Minimal To Non-Existent


Yesterday’s change to the filibuster rule is likely to have little impact outside the beltway and the political chattering class.

Senate Goes (Partly) Nuclear, Limits Filibusters For Some Nominees

Nuclear Explosion

It wasn’t a Thermonuclear move, more like something the size of Hiroshima, but today the Senate took an historic move nonetheless.

Will Another Senate Showdown Over Filibusters Lead To The ‘Nuclear Option’?


After the GOP blocked a series of Obama judicial nominees, Democrats are again threatening to go nuclear on filibuster reform.

Harry Reid Backs Away From The Nuclear Option, Filibuster Alive And Well


Once again, the threat of the “nuclear option” appears to have had less megatonnage than some expected and others hoped.

Could Today Be The Day Harry Reid Goes Nuclear? [Update: Tentative Deal Reached]

Harry Reid

The Senate may be headed for an historic confrontation today if an 11th hour deal isn’t reached.

Harry Reid To Make Another Attempt At Filibuster Reform?


Harry Reid is supposedly making another run at filibuster reform.

Democrats May Be Short On Votes For Filibuster Reform


Harry Reid appears to be short of the votes he needs to enact filibuster reform.

Filibuster Reform On The Agenda In 2013?


Once again, Senate Democrats are talking about filibuster reform, but will they actually follow through?

Common Cause Files Ridiculous Lawsuit Against The Filibuster


Common Cause has filed a specious lawsuit alleging that the filibuster is unconstitutional.

Harry Reid Calls For Filibuster Reform, 15 Months Too Late


Harry Reid is apparently regretting not going forward with filibuster reform in January 2011.

No, Republicans Wouldn’t Eliminate The Filibuster


Worried the GOP might eliminate the filibuster if they gain control of the Senate? Don’t be.

Jon Kyl: No Filibuster On Kagan Nomination


One of the most conservative members of the Senate said today that a filibuster of Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court is not going to happen: Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is unlikely to face a Republican filibuster, the Senate’s second-ranking Republican said Sunday. “The filibuster should be relegated to extreme circumstances, and I […]

Conservative Talking Points On The Kagan Nomination

Obama Kagan Supreme Court

As David Weigel notes, the directions from which activists and pundits on the will attack the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court are already fairly clear. I. The Harvard Military Recruiters Controversy Already this morning, one conservative blogger has called Kagan an “anti-military loon” for her role in banning military recruiters from Harvard […]

Health Care Reform and the State of the Republic


While not at all pleased by the outcome of the year-long sausage making extravaganza that gave us a health care reform bill that virtually no one likes, I’m much closer in agreement Steven Taylor than with Megan McArdle over what it all means for the system. Do we, as Megan suggested at the apex of […]

Quote of the Week: Bill Becomes a Law Edition

schoolhouse rock bill2

Jim Geraghty: We’ve all had to get our PhDs in congressional procedure lately, haven’t we? In Schoolhouse Rock, it all seemed so simple: I’m just a bill, yes, I’m only a bill, and I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill . . . You get the votes in committee, you get the votes in the full […]

Reconciliation and the Public Option


Democratic leaders have claimed that they would have had a government run health insurance alternative (the so-called “Public Option”) if only those mean Republicans weren’t there to filibuster. But Glenn Greenwald believes this was a sham. But all those claims were put to the test — all those bluffs were called — once the White […]

Parliamentary Reconciliation Barriers


A series of loosely-related threads at memeorandum provide a fascinating insight into the American legislative process. David Herszenhorn and Robert Pear report for the NYT Money &  Policy section (“Parliamentary Hurdle Could Thwart Latest Health Care Overhaul Strategy“) on a potentially large fly in the reconciliation ointment: The White House and Democratic Congressional leaders said […]

Reconciliation, Health Care, and History


Political scientists  Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein argues that, contrary to Republican claims,   the reconciliation process is neither illegitimate nor rare. Reconciliation was intended to be a narrow procedure to bring revenues and spending into conformity with the levels set in the annual budget resolution. But it quickly became much more. The 22 reconciliation bills […]

U.S. Senate The World’s Greatest Deliberative Body

Mr Smith Goes Washington Filibuster Photo

My friend and former colleague Steven Taylor offers what he terms “An Extremely Modest Proposal in Regards to the Senate.”  Rather than filibusters and holds, How about if a Senator has a reason to object to a given nominee that said Senator would, oh I don’t know, maybe take the floor and try to, well, […]

Pelosi: Senate Bill Can’t Pass House

Nancy Pelosi

It appears that the last remaining chance to pass healthcare reform without Republican votes is dead, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi admitting she couldn’t get the bill passed by the Senate if she wanted to. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that the Senate will have to amend its version of a health-care reform bill […]

Where You Sit


Position, they say, is policy. President Obama is discovering, as are many of his fellow travellers, that the tools he was only too happy to have available as a Senator can be quite nettlesome when viewed from the Oval Office. Thus, as Jake Tapper noted, the only President in history to have voted to filibuster […]

We All Want What’s Best


Ezra Klein surveys the political landscape and offers a bold assessment: At this point, structural reform of the legislative system should, I think, be the main priority for people left, right, and center who want to see action on the problems facing the country. It’s all well and good to try to get the best […]

Senate Health Reform Bill Secured?

Senate Health Care Compromise

My late evening was going well. The struggling Dallas Cowboys had somehow overcome their annual December swoon and were leading the theretofore unbeaten New Orleans Saints by three touchdowns early in the fourth quarter. The Saints scored two quick touchdowns and the Cowboys’ basket case kicker Nick Folk missed a chip shot field goal but […]

Hard Left Rallies Against Healthcare Compromise


Yesterday, I wrote that there were signs that progressives were rebelling against the health care compromise reached in the Senate.  Since then, things have really heated up. Bernie Sanders, the Socialist senator from Vermont, showed up on Fox News to announce that, “As of this point, I’m not voting for the bill. … I’m going […]

Is America Ungovernable?

Filibuster Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Jimmy Stewart

Progressives are increasingly frustrated that, despite having won the presidency by a comfortable margin and having solid majorities in the House and Senate — where they have a “filibuster-proof” 60 votes — they still can’t enact the policies they want.   Matt Yglesias says “smarter elements in Washington DC are starting to pick up on the […]

Is the Filibuster Unconstitutional?


Matt Yglesias cites a 15-year-old essay by Hendrick Hertzberg arguing that the filibuster is unconstitutional: It’s true that the framers did not specify that the Senate would do its normal business by simple majority vote, but that’s because it didn’t occur to them that they had to specify it, any more than it occurred to […]

Political Tides Turn


I had occasion to stumble on a post from the OTB archives, “Democrats Threaten to Filibuster Unnamed Court Nominee,” written on September 25, 2005.  What’s interesting in hindsight is how fundamentally the landscape has changed.  Not only is it Republicans now about to be in a position to try to avert a person they deem […]

Souter Retiring in June


A couple weeks back, I wrote a post called “Souter Retiring?”  The speculation was apparently well founded, as several outlets are now reporting that Justice David Souter will in fact step down at the end of the current session in June. NPR’s Nina Totenberg makes the interesting observation that, “At 69, Souter is nowhere near […]

Webb Won’t Support Card Check

Card Check Cartoon

Ezra Klein passes along word that “James Webb, it seems, will not be supporting the Employee Free Choice Act, and won’t even say if he’d support efforts to break a filibuster and let it get to the floor for a vote. That’s a significant blow to EFCA, and something of a surprise given Webb’s carefully […]

Filibuster Reform: Is The Time Right?


Kevin Drum agrees with Duncan Black that it’s fine for Republicans to oppose Barack Obama and the Democrats. He adds, though, that “The filibuster was never intended to become a routine requirement that all legislation needs 60% of the vote in the Senate to pass. But that’s what it’s become. It’s time for reform.” Steve […]