Harry Reid Hints At Using ‘Nuclear Option’ On Nominations

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To think we were so close in unseating Harry Reid.
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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Friday that unless nominations start moving swiftly through the Senate, another round of dramatic rules changes may be in the offing.

The Nevada Democrat said that while he was “happy” with the modest rules changes adopted in January on a bipartisan basis, the number of pending judicial nominations led him to warn his colleagues of the potential for the chamber’s rules to be modified at any point in the year, not just at the opening of a new Congress.

“All within the sound of my voice, including my Democratic senators and the Republican senators who I serve with, should understand that we as a body have the power on any given day to change the rules with a simple majority, and I will do that if necessary,” Reid said on Nevada Public Radio.

Reid last year adopted the position that rules could be changed using a simple majority — instead of a filibuster-proof majority — if done on the first day of the legislative session. But these recent comments appear to signal that he believes he has an even broader ability to reshape the chamber’s rules.

In the interview, Reid said he discussed Senate business Friday with President Barack Obama and New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer, the No. 3 in the Democratic leadership hierarchy.

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