Historic Day in the Senate as the Nuclear Option "Explodes"

 

As republicans implemented the highly controversial "nuclear option" all but ensuring Neil Gorsuch's Confirmation to the supreme court.

Joel Waldman is in Washington with the latest.

Joel Waldman, reporting
The so-called "nuclear option", which lowers the senate vote threshold to a simple majority of 51 votes - not the traditional 60 - became reality on the senate floor today.

With three democrats joining every republican in the upper chamber - to end debate on Judge Neil Gorsuch's confirmation to the supreme court.

Stripping the minority party - in this case, the democrats - from using filibusters to block the majority.

"... The nuclear option was used by Senator McConnell when he stopped Merrick Garland, what we're facing today is the fallout." Sen. Richard Durbin 

In a last ditch effort - Democrats scrambled to delay the rules change the vote ...
But it was to no avail - as Republicans remained united in becoming the first to change a longstanding senate precedent.

"But make no mistake about it, for all the back and forth, when history weighs what happened the responsibility for changing the rules will fall on the republicans and leader McConnell's shoulders." Sen. Charles Schumer (D) New York

Even some republicans warned against using the "nuclear option" - reminding those in their own party when the tables were turned on them back in 2013 -  Democrats, then the majority, eliminated filibusters against executive branch and judicial nominees for lower courts.

But GOP leadership stood their ground today, arguing there was no other option.

"We need to restore the norms and traditions of the senate and get past this unprecedented partisan filibuster." Sen. Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader

"A final vote on Judge Gorsuch's confirmation to the supreme court is expected to come by tomorrow night - as senate lawmakers still technically have a maximum of 30 hours to debate. 
 

 


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