Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 30, 2015

Reid, Alexander Spar as ‘Nuclear’ Fallout Begins to Take Shape

( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate saw the first serious fallout from the Democrats’ use of the “nuclear option” Monday evening, with Majority Leader Harry Reid moving to limit debate on 10 mainly midlevel executive and judicial nominations.

The cloture motions on nominations range from the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board to district judges to President Barack Obama’s choice of Jeh Johnson to be Homeland Security secretary.

That’s on top of the previously failed cloture votes on the nominations of Nina Pillard and Robert L. Wilkins to be federal appellate judges in the District of Columbia, as well as the nomination of Rep. Melvin Watt, D-N.C., to helm the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The Nevada Democrat may move to reconsider those votes at times of his choosing. A special election in North Carolina is also waiting on Watt’s confirmation.

The procedural moves came after Reid sought unanimous consent to confirm a slew of nominations in both the judicial and executive branches, facing an objection from Tennessee Republican Lamar Alexander, a senator who had helped lead previous bipartisan efforts to avert a procedural standoff.

Alexander said on the floor Monday that before Reid and the Democrats voted to establish a new precedent allowing simple-majority cloture for nominations, the GOP was prepared to confirm an assortment of nominees, as is customary just before a recess.

“The Republicans were ready to confirm more than 40 who had been there just a few weeks, and the Democratic majority changed the rules of the Senate in a way that creates a Senate without rules, and so until I understand better how a United States senator is supposed to operate in a Senate without rules, I object,” Alexander said.

Alexander also reiterated a previous argument of many Republicans, arguing the seats on the D.C. appeals court that were key to the move to change the rules shouldn’t be filled because of caseload. Those circuit seats will ultimately be held by Pillard, Wilkins and Patricia Ann Millett (who is on track for confirmation Tuesday after a weather delay).

“That explanation is as flat as a bottle of beer that’s been open for six months,” Reid said of Alexander’s argument.

The four district judges on the list of 10 nominees on whom Reid filed cloture Monday will have particularly expedited debate time, under new procedures adopted in January. Cloture motions ripen automatically in the order filed.

“Because we changed the rules at the majority leader’s request to make it easier to confirm district judges, there’s only in effect one hour of debate on each district judge,” Alexander said, explaining that Democrats could opt to yield their time back.

Alexander argued later that only picking four of the district judges amounted to an attempt to “manufacture a crisis.”

Reid criticized the wholesale objection, though it wasn’t clear Monday evening how coordinated of a retaliatory effort Alexander’s move was.

“The truth is that the Senate’s gotten out of whack,” Reid said. “If there was a controversy with one of these judges, then you could have some reason to stall it. In year’s past, we’ve just done it by unanimous consent. Now, I think it’s unfortunate that the Senate has come to that, but that’s where we are.”

“This is a game that Republicans have played to do everything they can to make Obama a failed president, and they are not doing that,” Reid added.

Alexander gave a lengthy presentation about the Senate’s consideration of nominations that ran long after Reid had left the floor, closing with a campaign pitch.

“I know of only one cure for this dangerous trend … and that is one word: an election,” Alexander said. “The election of six new Republican senators, so that power plays like Obamacare and the Nov. 21 rules change will be ended, and the Senate will again be alive with bills, amendments and debates reflecting the will of the American people on the important issues of our time.”

  • ProfessorNewshound

    End the filibuster entirely — let the majority govern. I’m sick of GOPers who abuse the filibuster, and I’m sick of Dems who don’t have the cajones to end the filibuster entirely.

    • Dirk Richmond

      Absolutely! Let the majority rule! End Obamacare, get the lib deadbeats off the dole, arm the border, etc.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, superb weblog format! How lengthy have you ever been running a blog for? you made blogging glance easy. The entire look of your website is magnificent, let alone the content!

  • Anonymous

    Keep functioning ,impressive job!

  • Anonymous

    I am continually searching online for tips that can benefit me. Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    Hey! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

  • Anonymous

    Hello! I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.

  • Anonymous

    Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and all. However think of if you added some great pictures or videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and videos, this blog could certainly be one of the greatest in its niche. Great blog!

  • Anonymous

    Hiya very nice site!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Superb .. I will bookmark your site and take the feeds additionally?KI’m satisfied to search out a lot of useful info right here in the publish, we’d like work out extra techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  • Anonymous

    I will right away clutch your rss feed as I can not to find your email subscription hyperlink or newsletter service. Do you have any? Kindly allow me understand in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! By the way, how could we communicate?

  • Anonymous

    Some truly fantastic information, Sword lily I observed this.

  • Anonymous

    Superb post however , I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this topic? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    Hello there, You’ve performed an excellent job. I’ll certainly digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m confident they’ll be benefited from this web site.

  • Anonymous

    Hi there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

  • Anonymous

    Of course, what a magnificent site and revealing posts, I surely will bookmark your blog.Best Regards!

  • Anonymous

    Hello! I’ve been reading your web site for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Houston Tx! Just wanted to say keep up the fantastic work!

  • Anonymous

    I have recently started a blog, the info you offer on this website has helped me greatly. Thank you for all of your time & work. “The word ‘genius’ isn’t applicable in football. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein.” by Joe Theismann.

  • Anonymous

    What i do not realize is in reality how you’re no longer actually much more smartly-preferred than you might be right now. You’re so intelligent. You already know thus considerably in relation to this matter, produced me individually believe it from numerous varied angles. Its like women and men don’t seem to be interested until it’s one thing to do with Woman gaga! Your individual stuffs nice. All the time care for it up!

  • Anonymous

    Heya! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing months of hard work due to no back up. Do you have any methods to stop hackers?

  • State farm quote

    Use our free quotes to get discounts on auto or home insurance. Get quotes by zip code and save up to 505 annually.

  • mutual auto insurance

    We offer you huge discounts, just enter your zip code and save up to 40 percent on auto and home insurance policies. Its easy and fast to do by 5 digit zip code.

  • amax auto insurance

    Get quotes for auto and home policy. Save with us up to 40%

  • Anonymous

    Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

  • federated insurance reviews

    Save on cheapest rates with out insurance companies. Get quotes on home and auto insurance by zip code.

  • Anonymous

    Appreciating the hard work you put into your site and in depth information you provide. It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out of date rehashed material. Great read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  • Anonymous

    Loving the information on this website , you have done outstanding job on the articles.

  • Anonymous

    wlJdBW It as difficult to find knowledgeable people about this topic, but you seem like you know what you are talking about! Thanks

  • acuity insurance company

    Get quotes by zip code from top insurance companies.

  • Anonymous

    Real clear web site, thanks for this post.

  • hot fuck

    I am so grateful for your blog article.Thanks Again. Want more.

  • Anonymous

    Im not positive where you are getting your information, however good topic. I needs to spend a while finding out more or figuring out more. Thanks for fantastic info I used to be in search of this information for my mission.

  • Anonymous

    Perfectly pent content, thanks for entropy.

  • Anonymous

    It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a doubt donate to this fantastic blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to new updates and will share this website with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

  • Anonymous

    I have not checked in here for a while as I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are great quality so I guess I will add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend :)

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...