- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
GOP has votes for ‘nuclear option,’ McConnell says
Question of the Day
Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell said yesterday that Republicans have enough votes to invoke the “nuclear option” to limit Democrats’ ability to stall by filibuster consideration of President Bush’s nominees for federal appeals courts.
“I never announce my whip count. But I’m telling you, there’s no doubt in my mind — and I’m a pretty good counter of votes — that we have the votes we need,” the Kentucky Republican said. “And that step will be taken sometime in the near future at the determination of the majority leader.”
Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, Connecticut Democrat, said it is a “huge mistake” to change the filibuster rule.
“This rule is important as well because it forces Democrats and Republicans to work together, to come to consensus. If you abandon this rule, then you’ll find even more partisanship, in my view, in the United States Senate,” he told interviewers on CBS’ “Face The Nation.”
Mr. Dodd “warned” Republicans that changing the rule could allow Democrats to stack the federal judiciary in the future.
“I wonder if people in some of the states in the South, for instance, are going to be terribly happy when a Democrat president, a Democratic president sitting there, virtually deciding for him- or herself who the federal judges will be out of that state, because you’ll no longer have to consult with the senators from those states, as you do today.”
Filibusters — debate that can be shut off only by 60 or more votes — have been used by Democrats to block 10 of Mr. Bush’s judicial nominees.
Jim Manley, spokesman for Nevada Democratic Sen. Harry Reid, questioned whether Mr. McConnell has enough Republican votes to limit debate and force an up-or-down vote.
“No one knows for sure what the vote will be, other than that it will be very, very close,” Mr. Manley said.
If the filibuster is prevented, Mr. Reid has threatened to retaliate by slowing down and blocking legislative efforts in the Senate.
Sen. Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania Republican and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told CNN’s “Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer” that Republicans and Democrats still can find a compromise. Mr. Specter urged his colleagues to find a compromise.
“I think, if we voted our consciences, we wouldn’t have filibusters and we wouldn’t have a nuclear option,” Mr. Specter said.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, told “Fox News Sunday” that Democrats have instituted a religious test for judicial nominees and are blocking those who might oppose abortion.
“We did not interject religion into this process. The Democratic senators did. What this boils down to is that the philosophy of that minority of liberal senators in the United States Senate has been repudiated in almost election after election, almost every recent election,” Mr. Perkins said.
“And so, in order to shape the culture and drive public policy, they’re holding on to the courts, and they’re using the filibuster as if it’s a junkyard dog to keep people from invading their territory. And that’s wrong. These candidates deserve an up-or-down vote.”
By Orrin G. Hatch
Procedural changes impede the chamber's traditional deliberative function
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown
- Ted Nugent slams 'lying freaks' at liberal media: I'm 'doing God's work'
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- House backs faster deportations, cancels 'Dreamer' policy
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors