The Supreme Court nomination of Elena Kagan won’t hit the Senate floor until the second half of next week as part of a strategy to persuade Republicans to agree to a compact debate schedule or risk pushing back the August recess.
Democratic leaders plan to open debate on the Kagan nomination late Tuesday or Wednesday, which would allow just three days of debate — or possibly less, if senators hope to leave on Thursday night, as they typically do.
Frustrated by Republicans’ success at blocking several bills, including campaign finance reform and a small-business bill this week alone, Democrats suggest they have no choice. A successful vote on Kagan would also allow Democrats to leave for the monthlong August recess with the opportunity to claim success — something they have otherwise often been denied by the GOP during the July work period.
“Adjournment is a powerful force,” Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told The Hill. “We hope to have a necessary, complete, but not protracted debate.”
A senior Democratic aide also said leaders felt they had no choice but to return Republicans’ hardball tactics with those of their own.