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McConnell goes “nuclear” to overcome minority opposition

Senate Republicans opted for the “nuclear option” Wednesday, a move spearheaded by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), to clear the way for presidential nominations, reported NBC News.

What is the “nuclear option”? It is a break-in-case-of-emergency way for the majority party to overcome an attempt by the minority in the Senate to block a vote by using a filibuster.

The story: Republicans only got 51 votes on a resolution that aimed to slash the amount of time needed to confirm President Trump’s nominees to the federal courts and executive branch agencies, from 30 hours to two hours, in certain circumstances. For that resolution to pass in Senate under normal circumstances, Republican would need 60 votes. Given that the vote went along party line, they pushed through the rule change in a more controversial way.

McConnell: “This systematic obstruction is unfair to our duly elected president and, more importantly, it is disrespectful to the American people who deserve the government they elected. We cannot set this new precedent that the Senate minorities will systematically keep an administration understaffed down to the least controversial nominees anytime they wish somebody else had won the election.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer: “I am sorry, so sorry, my Republican colleagues have gone along with Senator McConnell’s debasement of the Senate. To do this for such blatantly political ends is simply unworthy of this institution.”