AirTalk for November 21, 2013

Senate Dems pull trigger on 'nuclear option'

Senate Democrats Speak To The Press After Weekly Policy Luncheons

Win McNamee/Getty Images

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) leaves the weekly policy lunch of the Democratic caucus before speaking with reporters November 19, 2013 in Washington, DC. Reid spoke on recent efforts by Senate Republicans to filibuster judicial nominees appointed by U.S. President Barack Obama.

It’s third time’s the charm when it comes to Senate Democrats’ threats to exercise the so-called “nuclear option.” Led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the Democratically controlled Senate threw out the filibuster rules that have been in place for over two centuries for most presidential confirmations.

The vote was decided along party lines. Under the historic change, confirmation of federal judge nominees and executive-office appointments would only require a simple majority of votes, instead of a 60-vote super majority. The revision won’t apply to Supreme Court nominations.

Guest:

Lisa Mascaro, Congressional Reporter at the Los Angeles Times

Julian Zelizer, Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University and the author of multiple books on U.S. political history, including On Capitol Hill: The Struggle to Reform Congress and its Consequences, 1948-2000 (Cambridge University Press, 2004)


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