Liberals are decrying a major legislative change they championed in 2013 because it’s setting President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet choices up for easy confirmation hearings.
The then-Democratic Senate, led by former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, passed a historic rule in 2013 called, “the nuclear option,” which eliminated the use of the filibuster on all presidential nominees except those to the U.S. Supreme Court. While at the time liberals loved the rule for allowing President Barack Obama to push through key nominations, they are now livid. The nuclear option allows Trump, with a Republican Senate, to have his appointments confirmed with a simple majority vote.
Republicans wholeheartedly opposed the nuclear option in 2013, which effectively left them with no recourse when Obama named his executive and judicial nominees, the Washington Free Beacon reports. Under the nuclear option, Supreme Court picks and legislation still need 60 votes to be filibuster-proof, but Cabinet appointments can be approved with just 51 votes. The Republicans have over 51 seats in Congress currently.
At the time, Reid said the rule was necessary. The “American people believe the Senate is broken, and I believe the American people are right,” Reid told reporters. “It’s time to get the Senate working again.” The liberal media was behind Reid and his fellow Democrats, applauding the rule change as something necessary for America’s democratic system.
“All this really does is say that the president that we elected to actually run the government gets to run the government,” liberal CNN commentator Hilary Rosen said.
“Now majority rules, you know, almost like a democracy?” HBO host Bill Maher said.
“Even the reaction to this announcement seems to be one more piece of evidence that this Republican Party is not interested in doing the business of the country,” future Hillary Clinton spokeswoman Karen Finney said.
While the 2013 ruling was a crowning achievement of the Democrats just a few years ago, it has now become a thorn in the side of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. “I argued against it at the time. I said both for Supreme Court and in Cabinet should be 60, because on such important positions there should be some degree of bipartisanship,” Schumer told CNN. “I won on Supreme Court, lost on Cabinet, but it’s what we have to live with now.”
Democratic strategist Maria Cardona’s words in 2013 were arguably the most foreboding: “There’s no question that we will one day come to regret this.”
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