Today, following years of unprecedented obstruction by the chamber’s Republican minority, Senate Democrats approved a historic change to the chamber’s rules that eliminates the ability of senators to block up-or-down votes on most presidential nominations. Under the Senate’s new rule, all but Supreme Court nominees can now be confirmed by a simple majority vote.
The Democrats’ action followed an extraordinary series of filibusters by the Senate’s Republican minority. In the last three weeks alone, votes on each of the President’s three D.C. Circuit nominees were blocked by Senate Republicans in spite of the fact that President Bush filled the same three seats during his tenure.
The following is a statement from Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen:
“After years of unprecedented obstruction, Senate Republicans left their Democratic colleagues with no choice but to repair the chamber by changing its rules. We commend Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid for putting the Senate back to work, and thank the 51 other Democrats who supported his efforts. Now the Senate can do its job and give each of the President’s D.C. Circuit nominees a prompt, up-or-down vote.”