Update: It appears they have reached a deal in the Senate and the nuclear option will be avoided. It sounds like Republicans pretty much just caved, so going forward all Reid will have to do is throw a tantrum and make threats to get his way.
Despite the fact that more than 1,500 of President Obama’s nominees have been confirmed by the Senate, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is threatening the “nuclear option” on filibuster rules. He’s threatened this before, Republicans threatened it when they controlled the Senate, but nobody has gone through with it. So why is Reid pushing it now? The answer is simple, the unions want him to do it so Obama’s radical nominees can be appointed to the NLRB.
The Washington Examiner explains:
It’s called the “nuclear option” because it would effectively kill the filibuster, the time-honored tool of the Senate minority to force the world’s greatest deliberative body to slow down and think carefully before it acts foolishly on momentous issues.
Reid has been threatening to end Senate gridlock this way for years. What exactly changed that made him decide now is the time — as opposed to, say, back during the debt limit showdown of 2012?
The answer is that all seven of the votes he is planning this week are for nominees to federal agencies that Big Labor has been aggressively pressuring Democrats and President Obama to fill, including Labor Secretary nominee Thomas Perez; Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray; and five National Labor Relations Board nominees.
All of these nominees except Cordray deal with labor issues. Once installed, these Obama appointees would give the Labor Department, the NLRB and the CFPB strong liberal voices.
Communications Workers of America President Larry Cohen is angry that Reid hasn’t acted earlier.
If Reid goes through with this (which looks likely, as the vote is scheduled for some time today) I hope he’s ready for the time when Republicans take back control of the Senate. He’ll have set the precedent.
Update: Also read about how Democrats reacted when Republicans threatened to nuke filibuster rules. Needless to say, they were against it before they were for it?