Highlight the Attack: Democrats take action on filibuster

Secret Meeting

Democrats take action on filibuster

Due to the action of the Senate Democrats, there will be no more 60-vote requirements to get the President’s appointments confirmed. Steve Kornacki and Joan Walsh join Chris Matthews to discuss.

 

Harry Reid delivers knockout punch on filibuster reform

>By Aliyah Frumin | 11/22/13 03:00 PM|
Republicans made holding hostage the confirmation of President Obama’s nominees almost routine in the Senate. Obama’s seal of approval effectively blacklisted many nominees from Republican consideration. The process meant that highly qualified candidates – even by some conservatives’ own admission – barely stood a chance of averting a GOP-led filibuster.
That was, until Thursday.
Harry Reid ended the weeks, months – years, really – of unprecedented obstruction with a single knockout punch. Fed up with the state of perpetual political standstill, the Senate majority leader on Thursday followed through on his threats, handing Democrats a desperately needed victory.

“The need for change is so, so very obvious,” Reid said on the Senate floor. “It’s clearly visible.”

He convinced Democrats in the Senate to go nuclear, voting to get rid of a 60-vote requirement to get the president’s nominees confirmed. The move strikes down nearly 225 years of precedent and breaks the GOP choke hold on presidential picks. Read more…

(L-R) Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-IL) talk to reporters at the U.S. Capitol Nov. 21, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty

 

Harry Reid: A man of action

Several weeks ago, [It was] predicted …that Republican obstinacy, as evidenced by their blocking of President Obama’s nominees to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, would lead to a major change:

The move makes it likely that Senate Democrats will soon come to a consensus on ending the filibuster for presidential nominations, allowing Reid to take action. The Senate leader will likely take the approach of bringing forward other noncontroversial nominees for votes over the next few weeks. In response, Republicans will continue their intransigence.
A clear message will be sent: The GOP conference is not going to change its behavior, and the only way to fix the broken Senate is to change the rules. Republicans have left Reid no choice but to deploy the nuclear option.

Yesterday, Harry Reid sent that message, changing the rules of the Senate and ensuring that nominees to the executive branch and the federal courts would not be subject to a 60-vote threshold.

Most impressive was the way in which Senate Democrats carried out this change. There were not loud pronouncements or threats of looming deadlines. Instead, Reid quietly and patiently demonstrated over the course of the last few weeks that Republican behavior would not change. In vote after vote, Republicans blocked nominees whose qualifications were never in doubt.

Slowly, he built consensus in his caucus. Patiently, he counted votes. And when the moment was right, Reid did not threaten, Reid did not talk. Harry Reid acted. Read more…

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pauses during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on Nov. 21, 2013.

Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Ari Rabin-Havt is host of The Agenda on SiriusXM Progress 127 and a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Follow him on Twitter @AriRabinHavt.

Will there be a nuclear winter?

>by: Disrupt With Karen Finney | 11/02/13 12:57 PM |

Shortly after Senate Republicans blocked votes on the nomination of Mel Watt to lead the Federal Housing Authority and of Patricia Millett to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, I ran into a longtime Senate aide Thursday on the East Front of the Capitol.

“Republicans will regret these two votes,” he observed, noting that by blocking two well-qualified nominees – the first African-American to head the FHA and the second woman they have prevented from sitting on the D.C. Circuit – the GOP had reignited debate in the Senate about whether presidential nominations should require 60 votes.

For many progressives, including some senators, this obstruction is further evidence that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid needs to deploy the so-called “nuclear option.” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) said after the vote, “The conversation on rules changes can’t come fast enough for me.”

The filibuster of Watt is particularly extraordinary because he is the first sitting member of Congress since the Civil War to have his nomination defeated by a minority of senators. That vote will likely stand as the catalyst for a substantive change in the filibuster rules sometime this winter.

This week’s filibusters come less than four months after last-minute negotiations between Reid and John McCain resulted in Republicans acceding to the confirmations of previously blocked Democratic nominees, heading off a “nuclear” confrontation before the August recess.

This week, McCain not only participated in the filibuster of Watt and Millett’s nominations, claiming on the floor that the nominees are extreme, he also threatened to block the confirmations of Janet Yellen to lead the Federal Reserve and Jeh Johnson to lead the Department of Homeland Security unless the demands that he and Lindsey Graham have made for testimony from Benghazi “survivors” are met.

This move is pure politics designed to insulate Graham, who faces a Tea Party primary challenger. The South Carolina Tea Party drafted a 29-point case for replacing him. Among their complaints is that the senator supported “Obama’s radical appointments to the Supreme Court.”

The move makes it likely that Senate Democrats will soon come to a consensus on ending the filibuster for presidential nominations, allowing Reid to take action. The Senate leader will likely take the approach of bringing forward other noncontroversial nominees for votes over the next few weeks. In response, Republicans will continue their intransigence.

A clear message will be sent: The GOP conference is not going to change its behavior, and the only way to fix the broken Senate is to change the rules. Republicans have left Reid no choice but to deploy the nuclear option. Read more…

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) walks to an event with Democratic senators on the steps U.S. Capitol October 9, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Ari Rabin-Havt is host of The Agenda on SiriusXM Progress 127 and a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Follow him on Twitter @AriRabinHavt.


Unprecedented obstructionism

It is confirmed that the Republican’s plan for President Obama is to obstruct and after five years of unprecedented obstructionism, the Democrats finally strike back with the ‘Nuclear Option’ in the Senate. Finally is correct and finally is the operative word from the Democrats’ stand point!Obstructionism

Perhaps it is the Democrats reluctance to act, one person in particular Harry Reid who is partly to blame for allowing this obstructionism to fester this long, nevertheless it long past the time to get some work done. We have seen the Republican reaction to Harry Reid’s reluctant and long-delayed decision to invoke the so-called nuclear option; changing the Senate’s filibuster rules so that Obama’s judicial nominees can get the simple up-or-down votes they deserve. There has been 168 filibusters against all Presidential nominees with nearly half (82) were held against President Obama’s – picks. This again confirms unprecedented obstructionism by the right wing.

The Senate can now appoint, confirm 93 progressive judges into the 93 open seats in the lower court systems and more forward barring no more Obstructions.

We all know that the GOP obstructionism is ‘absolutely ridiculous’ with it starting from day one of the President’s (Inauguration), with his first steps onto the highest office of our nation. We all know where this ideology started from and who was involved in this obstruction plan – the secret meeting to take down Obama – exposed. See the videos below!

Secret MeetingNow, we look forward in watching the freak outs from the Right wing when the President nominates and fills the seats available in the lower courts! In agreement with Mainstream Media, that it has been fun and frustrating to watch the freak outs thus far from the RWNJ’s from temper tantrum to name-calling –again ridiculous. Rand Paul did what Rand Paul does best and threw a tantrum. Sean Hannity once supported filibuster reform. Now he is calling it “One of the most lawless power grabs” in U.S. history. The rules allow for it, but it is a power grab? Rush Limbaugh melted down, calling the democratic process “dictatorship,” and of course, Fox News went straight for the false equivalency cupboard. However, it is more than ridiculous! The right-wing should try to get over their Obama obsession like the Left-wing got over Bush’s failed policies, the Iraq War and the possible 911 involvement not yet confirmed. The American people want to see more cooperation from both sides and if you cannot work together than move aside and stop the obstructive behavior.

The Republican Congressional leaders are not doing their jobs and preventing the Democrats from doing what is necessary to move this country forward. If they call obstructionism serving their constituents and their constituents then they are liars. They are serving no one, and that includes them. We foresee a backlash to this “Mickey Mouse type BS” mentality that they are exhibiting in the upcoming elections. We hope that the backlash will be that the GOP goes down in all branches of government in the up-and-coming elections of 2014, 2016 etc. We cannot afford high drop-off in people not voting in these elections or we will be in a worse situation – plain and simple. So, it is up to us to stay informed, energized and vote these RWNJ’s out of office – stay frosty my friends [sic]!


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