Harry Reid Sets Up Nuclear Showdown over Nominees for Next Week
(WASHINGTON) -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has set up a potentially “nuclear” showdown with Republicans over President Obama’s executive nominees for next week.
Reid, D-Nev., filed cloture Thursday on seven executive nominees, including Richard Cordray as the director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, Thomas Perez as Secretary of Labor, and Regina McCarthy as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, setting up votes on the nominees for Tuesday.
In a news conference after a Democratic caucus meeting Thursday, Reid said he is prepared to use the “nuclear option” should Republicans not agree to approve the seven nominees.
“I'm going to go to the floor on Tuesday and do what I need to do so this doesn't happen anymore,” Reid said about the potential blocking of nominees.
But before they consider the nominees, all 100 senators will meet in the Old Senate Chamber for a rare special closed door caucus meeting to discuss the filibuster rules on Monday evening.
Reid engaged in a heated back-and-forth session with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on the Senate floor as the two argued over the looming launch of the “nuclear option” to limit Republicans use of the filibuster against executive nominees.
“These are dark days in the history of the Senate,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “We've witnessed the majority leader break his word to the United States Senate.”
“No matter how often my friend rudely talks about me breaking my word, I am not going to respond talking about how many times he has broken his word,” Reid said.
McConnell warned that should Reid use the “nuclear option,” he will go down as the worst Senate majority leader in history.
“If we don’t pull back from the brink here, my friend, the majority leader, is going to be remembered as the worst leader of the senate ever,” McConnell said.
McConnell’s campaign team even tweeted an illustration of a tombstone bearing Harry Reid’s name and the words “Killed the Senate.”
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