On Wednesday, Senate Republicans dealt a major blow to the Democrats’ repeated attempts to delay inevitable Trump district court nominees and executive branch appointments. The use of the filibuster has become the weapon of choice deployed by Senate Democrats, stalling and unnecessarily delaying confirmations of plenty of qualified nominees.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has been able to whip up his fellow Republican Senators to thwart efforts on the part of partisan-acting Democrats whose sole purpose for existence, at this point, appears to simply be their acting as a thorn in the side of anything President Trump or the GOP decide to do—regardless of what it is they are attempting to do and how it will help this country.
MCCONNELL IS GOOD AT JUDGES AT LEAST – GOP Triggers ‘Nuclear Option’ to Speed up Approval of Trump Nominees https://t.co/p9dfr5gT32
— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) April 3, 2019
Even the Wall Street Journal got in on the action, taking note of Leader Mitch McConnell’s wonderfully shrewd maneuver.
Senate Republicans invoke “nuclear option” to allow a simple majority to change the chamber’s rules for confirming many presidential appointees https://t.co/2gzGi7hkjh
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) April 3, 2019
Americans are waking up to the fact that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have done nothing for two years except resist, obstruct, and undermine President Trump and the Republicans’ good-faith effort to change America for the better.
Congratulations to the GOP Senate for finally using the Nuclear option to get hundreds of Trump nominees confirmed. Chuuck Schumer should be ashamed of himself for being a constant bottleneck of injustice https://t.co/EDgABbfjmY
— Wayne Dupree | 🎤 (@WayneDupreeShow) April 4, 2019
Mitch McConnell, to put a stop to Senate Democrats’ obstructionist agenda, invoked the increasingly popular “nuclear option,” calling for a vote to limit filibuster time for certain nominees and appointees. The Washington Times covered the events, adding a solid interpretation of what unfolded:
“Republicans triggered the so-called nuclear option Wednesday, changing the interpretation of Senaterules to speed up the time it takes to confirm presidential appointees and creating a glide path for President Trump to fill out his administration and stack the lower federal courts with conservative judges.
In a pair of 51-48 votes, the Senate lowered the amount of time senators can delay a vote after a filibuster has been surmounted from 30 hours to two hours for district court nominees, and for most executive branch jobs.
. . .
The nuclear option involves using a parliamentary maneuver to force through a new interpretation of the rules. The maneuver requires only a majority vote, not the two-thirds needed for a full rules change or the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster on a ‘standing order,’ which is a temporary rules change.”
The fact of the matter is that this is likely to be standard operating procedure in the Senate for the foreseeable future. When the Democrats win back control of the Senate (hopefully not, but who knows?), eventually, you will hear their leaders saying the same things McConnell and other Senate Republicans are saying these days, using the same arguments to back their actions.
What is alarming is that this option needs to be used at all. The Senate should be able to work together, across the aisle, to pass legislation for the good of the American people. However, the state of today’s American politics is such that this seems next to impossible.
Even CNN had to admit that the increasing partisan divide has essentially forced the hand of McConnell and Senate Republicans, also noting that the so-called nuclear option was originally a Democratic Party-created phenomenon, back in 2013.
“The partisan [nuclear option] move was another sign of the coarsening relations between the parties on Capitol Hill and a warning that the appetite for iron-fisted majority rule is growing in the Senate not diminishing and could lead to the weakening of the legislative filibuster.
. . .
Democrats called it a power grab but, in the end, could complain only so much, as they first used the controversial tactic in 2013 to make it dramatically easier to break filibusters of almost all President Barack Obama’s nominees — except those to the Supreme Court — a much more substantial curtailing of minority rights than the changes forced through by Republicans Wednesday.”
This is simple strategic politicking on the part of Mitch McConnell, who has been showing signs over the last couple of years that he may be worth his salt. Known as an expert back-channel negotiator and deal-maker, Sen. McConnell has been sticking it to his Democrat friends in the Senate.
His bringing to the Senate floor AOC’s Green New Deal was a brilliant show of mockery of both the absurdity of the piece of garbage legislation proposed by an over-matched and under-qualified freshman Representative, as well as an opportunity to get every Senator on record as to their support or lack thereof for an obviously radioactive resolution.
He doesn’t always back the President when he should, and he has failed to move the needle significantly on border wall-funding and Obamacare repeal efforts. However, it’s times like this that Republicans can enjoy a little “Cocaine” Mitch in their lives.
Here is “Good” Mitch, at his best. He sure loves himself some Democrat trollery. For the record, we do, too.