HOME > NEWSROOM > ARTICLES > Nuclear Meltdown in Senate

Nuclear Meltdown in Senate

On Thursday, the Democrat Majority in the Senate led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) took the once unheard of step of using the “nuclear option” to pass by a simple majority vote those of President Obama’s judicial nominees deemed controversial by opponents. While the President and Senate Democrats lauded the move as a way to help fix Senate gridlock, Republicans warned of a near-term power play by the White House and a long-term problem for the Senate as a body.

President Obama reacted to the vote:

 Now, I realize that neither party has been blameless for these tactics. They've developed over years, and it seems as if they've continually escalated.  But today's pattern of obstruction, it just isn't normal. It's not what our Founders envisioned…. So I support the step a majority of senators today took to change the way that Washington is doing business -- more specifically, the way the Senate does business. What a majority of senators determined by Senate rule is that they would restore the longstanding tradition of considering judicial and public service nominations on a more routine basis.

However, Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) offered a different perspective:

Earlier this year the Senior Senator from New York said they want to “fill up the D.C. Circuit one way or another.” And the reason is clear. As one liberal activist put it earlier this year, President Obama’s agenda “runs through the D.C. Circuit.” In short, unlike the first two years of the Obama Administration, there’s now a legislative check on the President. And the Administration doesn’t much like checks and balances. So it wants to circumvent the people’s representatives with an aggressive regulatory agenda, and our Democrat colleagues want to facilitate that by “filling up” a court that will rule on his agenda — a court that doesn’t even have enough work to do. Especially if it means changing the subject from Obamacare for a few days.

Senator McConnell also noted the long-term precedent this move makes for the Senate should it change hands in a future election and suggested that while this path of “wishful thinking might appeal to the uninitiated newcomers in the Democratic Conference who’ve served exactly zero days in the minority…. others in their conference should know better.”

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: November 22, 2013

Latest News

House Attention to Low-Power, Satellite Television Legislation

NRB members with television ministries may be particularly interested in two happenings this week in the House of Representatives.

NRB Opposes Administration Intolerance

This week the President made good on his promise to LGBT activists to issue an ENDA-like Executive Order applying to federal contractors. Unfortunately, despite widespread concern and...

The Internet Road to Nowhere

Last week, in the detailed comment that NRB filed with the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) on the issue of Internet regulation, this question was raised: What would it profit America to gain the world of digital innovation if, in the process, we end up losing our First Amendment soul?

Persecuted Sudanese Christian Mother Free

Aided by the Italian government, Meriam Ibrahim, her husband, and two young children successfully exited Sudan this week.

NRB 2015 Media Awards: Less Than 2 Weeks Left to Enter!

NRB is currently accepting nominations for the 2015 Annual Media Awards and will be doing so until August 4, 2014. A longstanding hallmark of NRB, the awards program remains one of the association's most valued traditions.

Exhibit Space at the NRB15 Int’l Christian Media Convention Available Now! Get Yours Today!

Want to place your company or ministry in front of thousands of decision-makers in an ever-growing industry? Then consider exhibiting at NRB’s 2015 International Christian Media Convention.

Available Now: Your Organization's Own Private Lounge or Suite at the NRB 2015 Convention!

Need a temporary headquarters for your organization during the NRB 2015 International Christian Media Convention? Then a Hospitality Lounge is for you!

Christian Radio Veteran Barry Armstrong to Head Victory Radio Network

Longtime Christian radio leader and Spirit FM co-founder Barry Armstrong has been called out of retirement to lead Liberty University’s Victory Radio Network as General Manager.

Senate Democrats Try to Torpedo Hobby Lobby Ruling

Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB, had some choice words for Planned Parenthood and others working to radically undermine religious liberty in the Senate this week.

Congressman Calls Out FCC on Broadcast Indecency Enforcement

Congressman James Lankford (R-OK) put the FCC on notice that he was displeased with the Commission’s enforcement against indecency on the broadcast airwaves.

More News