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

Christmas Reflections in Washington

While end-of-year debates on government appropriations, military policy, tax provisions, judicial nominations, and other issues continue their rough road to resolution in this lame-duck session of Congress, Christmas is in the air in the nation’s capital.

FCC Rules Against Church on Closed Captioning

The FCC recently denied a church’s request for a waiver from closed captioning rules, shedding more light on the agency’s approach to determining what may truly be an “economically burdensome” situation.

Senator Promises a Bill Broader than ENDA

Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) announced this week that he intends to introduce legislation next year that will roll the controversial Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) into a broader...

White Paper Issued on Video Policy

Key leaders in the House Energy and Commerce Committee this week released a white paper on video policy as they continue their path toward a review and revamp the Communications Act.

NRB15 Worship Service on Wednesday, February 25, 2015; Open to the Public

The NRB Convention in 2015 will be a Monday-to-Thursday event rather than a Saturday-to-Tuesday event as in years before, but convention participants will still have an opportunity to worship together during the Wednesday evening worship service on February 25, 2015.

NRB to Host Regional Networking Event for Christian Film Pros, Jan. 10

Christian film professionals in the Baltimore, DC, and Richmond region are invited to attend a networking event next month at the NRB headquarters in Manassas, VA.

NRB15 Convention Extras: Affiliate Events

For the annual NRB International Christian Media Convention, we’ve brought together more than 60 speakers, nearly 200 exhibitors, dozens of insightful sessions, and various networking events.

NRB Job Opening: Copywriter/Assistant

The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), the world’s preeminent association of Christian communicators, is looking for a committed, well-established, mature Christian to serve part-time as a copywriter and assistant for the association’s Communications and Conventions divisions.

'Urban Life Issues' to Join 'Life Issues' Radio Lineup

In February 2015, Life Issues Institute will launch Urban Life Issues, an extension of the Life Issues radio broadcast, which airs daily commentary on abortion and related issues on more than 1,100 radio outlets across the nation.

NRB15 Int’l Christian Media Convention to Feature 60+ Speakers

Less than three months remain until thousands of Christian communicators gather in Nashville, TN, for the NRB 2015 International Christian Media Convention.

More News