WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader
"This is really a moment in history when circumstances dictate the need for change," the Nevada Democrat said in a morning speech at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank. "All we want to do is what the Constitution says we should do. Filibusters are not part of the Constitution."
Reid’s remarks represented a further escalation in his rhetoric in the dispute with the Senate’s Republican minority over procedural maneuvers that have left a number of President
In response to Republican allegations that the changes he seeks would forever change the character of
“The power of an extreme minority now threatens the very integrity of this institution,” he said. “Everyone knows that under the Constitution we have a responsibility to give advice and consent to the president on his nominations, but all we have from the
Republicans can avert any attempt to implement what they have called the “nuclear option” by simply allowing seven stalled nominations to move ahead for up-or-down votes, he said. They include three members of the National Labor Relations Board, and the heads of the
Changing Senate rules typically requires a two-thirds majority, but
Republicans counter that Democrats now seek a higher standard for confirming presidential appointments than they had allowed when they were in the minority during President
Republicans say they would be willing to confirm new nominees to the NLRB instead of two of the pending choices that Obama had attempted to install through recess appointments. Their appointments were struck down by appeals courts that said Congress wasn't actually in recess.
Senate Minority Leader
"We have never changed the rules of the Senate by breaking the rules of the Senate in order to diminish the voices of individual senators," the Kentucky Republican said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday. "We've never done that, and we sure shouldn't start it now, particularly since every one of the president's nominees that would be subject to this rule change have been confirmed."