Democratic Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell dodged questions about how Democrats paved the way for Republicans to push through a conservative Supreme Court nominee during a Sunday NBC interview.
NBC’s Chuck Todd reminded Cantwell on “Meet the Press” that former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid changed the Senate rules in 2013 to allow a simple majority to confirm judges. At the time, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told Reid, “you’ll regret this and you may regret it a lot sooner than you think.” (RELATED: Trump Predicted Killing The Filibuster Would Come Back To Bite Democrats)
“Do you regret it?” Todd asked Cantwell.
“Well, we’re dealing with what we’re dealing with today,” Cantwell replied. “And I doubt that whatever the circumstances of the rules were then or now that they would be proceeding on this with 51 votes.”
“But, Senator … you wanna just ignore that,” Todd pushed back. “I guess I disagree with you, you just wanna ignore that past. I mean, that is why we’re in this situation now where a bare majority decides the future of the courts.”
Cantwell dodged again, responding, “Well, it’s what we’re dealing with today, I’m not ignoring it.”
“But I tell you, Chuck, I’ve been around my state this weekend and people are anxious about health care,” she added. “They want to know what’s going to happen with this court nominee.”
McConnell, now the majority leader, followed Reid’s lead and changed Senate rules to allow a simple majority to confirm SCOTUS justices. The rule change allowed Republicans to confirm Neil Gorsuch and will give them an easier time confirming whomever President Donald Trump nominates to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy when he retires.