This could be a shocker: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is actually taking a stand.
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) launched a barn-burner of a speech Thursday on the Senate floor, excoriating Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for continued obstruction when it comes to presidential nominees. He escalated the battle by setting up test votes next week on a series of potentially controversial nominees.
“Senator McConnell broke his word,” Reid said. “The Republican leader has failed to live up to his commitments. He’s failed to do what he said he would do — move nominations by regular order except in extraordinary circumstances. I refuse to unilaterally surrender my right to respond to this breach of faith.”
The remarks were Reid’s first in weeks on the issue of nominations and Senate gridlock, a brewing fight that he sidelined last month in order to pass immigration reform through the Senate. McConnell has been regularly arguing for weeks that Reid is breaking his word by threatening to change the rules with the nuclear option after he agreed not to upon passage of the modest rules changes in January which preserved the filibuster.
In Thursday’s speech, Reid cited GOP filibusters to slow down the confirmations of Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense and John Brennan for CIA director. He also cited the GOP’s promise to filibuster Richard Cordray or any other nominee for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unless Democrats agree to weaken the agency.
“It is a disturbing trend when Republicans are willing to block executive branch nominees even if they have no objection about the qualification of the nominee,” Reid said. “They’re blocking qualified nominees because they refuse to accept the law of the land.”
Nice of you to join us, Senator.
Yes, we have seen this before, and yes, we have seen Mr. Reid get his bluff called and watched that creepy and cringe-inducing smirk spread across Mitch McConnell’s face the same way a crack spreads across thin ice.
Dare we hope this time it’s different?