- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 9, 2017

Sen. James Lankford said Thursday that he’s proposing a rule change to move judicial nominees more swiftly through the confirmation process.

“The Senate can only do one thing at a time. So if you’ve got 30 hours of debate on a nominee that’s going to pass, because when they come out of committee, we have the votes to pass them. They will pass,” Mr. Lankford, Oklahoma Republican, explained on “The Hugh Hewitt Show.”

“If you clog it up with 30 hours of debate for that person, that means you can’t debate other tax reform, you can’t move on legislation, you can’t work on regulatory issues, you can’t work on anything else, because you’re clogged up on that one,” he added.

Mr. Lankford said he’s proposed lowering the debate to a two-hour limit for lower court judicial nominees and eight hours for a “mid-level person” and only allowing 30 hours for a Supreme Court, circuit court or Cabinet nominee.

“There was a bipartisan agreement on a rule very similar to this in 2013 when Harry Reid was there, to be able to work the process through. I’m invoking that to see if we can get 60 votes on it,” he said.

Mr. Lankford did say if he cannot get his rule to pass, he will try to enact the Reid Rule, but will lower the debate for every nominee to two hours, with the exception of higher court nominees and Cabinet officials.

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s rule limited debate on lower-court nominees and sub-Cabinet officials to two hours on the Senate floor. Senate committees vetted nominees and reported their findings to the full Senate, where leadership assigned members to debate the nominee within those two hours, followed by a full vote.

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