Senate Dems to push Obama nominees
WASHINGTON — Fresh from shackling the traditional blocking ability of the Senate's minority party, Democrats are ready to muscle through President Obama's nominees for pivotal judgeships and other top jobs.
Despite a Democratic power play in November, Senate Republicans retain the power to slow, though not derail, Obama's appointments.
Left unchanged were other rules that the out-of-power party could use to grind the chamber's work to an excruciating crawl. That ranges from requiring clerks to read voluminous bills and amendments to forcing repeated procedural votes.
“There are so many ways of slowing things down in the Senate,” said Robert Dove, the Senate's former longtime parliamentarian.
Monday will start a two-week, year-end Senate session in which Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., hopes to finish work on a modest budget deal, a Defense bill and other lingering items.
Monday's meeting will be the chamber's first since irritable lawmakers left town on Nov. 21 for Thanksgiving break. Earlier that day, Democrats used their 55-45 edge to reshape how filibusters work, changing the number of votes needed to halt procedural delays against most nominations from 60 to a simple majority.
Democrats could make GOP delays as painful as possible, such as keeping the Senate in all night and on weekends.
“We're going to seek to achieve as much as we possibly can and hope Republicans will cooperate with us, instead of just using knee-jerk obstruction,” said Adam Jentleson, spokesman for Reid.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Pittsburgh rallies for second year of Pirates magic
- Robinson man to serve probation for woman’s drowning death
- Steelers are vowing to fix the costly penalties, lack of self-discipline
- Steelers film session: Harrison on the field often
- Neil Diamond bringing tour to Consol Energy Center
- Tomlin: Penalties only one factor in Steelers’ loss
- Corbett: Downtown project will ‘make a huge difference’ in Pittsburgh
- Mental health facility won’t take Franklin Regional stabbing suspect as patient
- Olympian Michael Phelps arrested on DUI charge
- Mercer’s improved defense at shortstop gives Pirates a boost
- Prosecutors float possibility of jail time for former Justice Melvin