- The Washington Times - Friday, July 12, 2013

If Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid goes forward with the nuclear option to change rules in order to bring about speedy confirmation of President Obama’s nominees, history will remember him negatively, a leading Republican senator said.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Mr. Reid’s plan to change rules so that only a simple vote majority would be needed for the confirmation process is a stark switch from the present — and constitutional — role senators play in confirming nominees.

Currently, it takes 60 votes to end a filibuster of an executive branch nomination. Mr. Reid wants to lower that to 51.

“When they tell me that — the Republican I expect they would be least likely to want to tell that to — I know what’s going on here,” Mr. McConnell said. “So this is really a sad, sad day for the United States Senate. And 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.”

Mr. McConnell said even Democrats have voiced their objection to Mr. Reid’s plan.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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