EXCLUSIVE — Conservatives To GOP Leaders: Don’t You Dare Reverse The Nuclear Option

Alex Pappas | Political Reporter

Conservatives are sending a message to Senate GOP leaders: Keep the nuclear option!

In a letter obtained first by The Daily Caller, about 20 conservative leaders are pleading with the GOP leadership in the Senate not to do away with the drastic rules put into place by Harry Reid in 2013.

“The decision by Senator Reid and his Democratic colleagues to deploy the so-called ‘nuclear option’ was transparently designed to facilitate the confirmation of judicial nominees who would insulate Obamacare and other aspects of President Obama’s agenda from meaningful judicial review,” the letter reads. “Regardless of their motives, we see very little upside and significant downside in reviving the judicial filibuster.”

In 2013, Senate Democrats — led by Reid, the Senate majority leader — took the drastic step of changing the body’s rules to prevent the minority party from being able to filibuster most of the president’s nominees.

By employing the so-called nuclear option, Democrats changed the rules so that nominations voted on by the Senate — such as cabinet positions or appeals court judges — only need a majority of votes to pass, instead of the traditional 60 votes.

Republicans opposed Reid implementing the nuclear option in 2013. Now that Republicans are poised to take back control of the Senate in January, some conservatives are worried that Republicans will push to restore the old rules.

One conservative said that it’s believed that Republican Senators Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and John McCain of Arizona are among those pushing to do away with the nuclear option.

But the fear among conservatives is fairness, especially when there is a Republican in the White House in the future.

“The net result of a Republican effort to revive the judicial filibuster would be a self-imposed 60-vote threshold for Republican nominees and a 50-vote threshold for Democratic nominees,” the letter reads.

Among those who signed the letter, being sent to elected officials on Wednesday: Gary Bauer of American Values, Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee and Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum.

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