- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sen. Mike Lee, Utah Republican, said anyone who thinks outgoing Majority Leader Harry Reid was going to leave town before pushing through the presidential nominees he wanted to confirm is “crazy.”

Mr. Lee and Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, pushed for an ultimately unsuccessful vote on a point of order on a spending bill over the weekend in a bid to declare President Obama’s recent executive actions on immigration unconstitutional.

The effort failed on a 22-74 vote, and Democrats are saying that the demand for the on-the-record vote gave Mr. Reid, Nevada Democrat, more time to tee up presidential nominees before the chamber breaks for the holidays.

But Mr. Lee said Mr. Reid wasn’t about to just leave town.

Harry Reid is an outgoing majority leader. One thing we know about this majority leader is that he’s going to move heaven and earth to get everyone that he really wants confirmed confirmed before we leave town,” Mr. Lee said Tuesday on Laura Ingraham’s radio show. “And if you think…or if anyone else happens to think that he was going to leave town without confirming everybody that he wanted to confirm in the post-nuclear Senate, they’re crazy - that’s just nonsense. Absolutely not true.”

Last November, Senate Democrats muscled through changes to the chamber’s filibuster rules to allow most presidential judicial and executive nominees to be confirmed by a simple majority vote, rather than the 60 votes needed for most legislation to overcome a filibuster.

The Senate is weighing a number of nominations before they leave town, and on Monday confirmed Vivek Murthy, President Obama’s nominee for surgeon general, on a 51-43 vote. Mr. Murthy’s nomination had stalled at least in part because of past statements he has made about gun control.

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