Harry Reid Looks to Change Senate Rules to Ram Through Obama Nominees
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A consortium of liberal groups and labor unions are pressuring Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to change Senate rules on filibustering beyond the nuclear option. They argue the additional changes will speed up the confirmation of President Obama’s judicial nominees.
The alliance known as Fix the Senate Now includes the prominent liberal advocacy groups Communications Workers of America, Common Cause, Sierra Club, and the Alliance for Justice. The coalition put forth a statement saying, “We strongly urge Majority Leader Reid and Chairman [Patrick] Leahy [D-Vt.] to consider reforms to floor and committee rules that will hasten the confirmation of President Obama’s talented and qualified set of nominees.”
Despite his frustration with Republican hold ups, Reid is hesitant about initiating another set of rules changes after the uproar last year when he broke with four decades of senate tradition and set into motion the nuclear option, which eliminated filibustering for most presidential nominees. Nevertheless, the Senate Majority Leader knows that he will need the help of these outside groups in November’s midterm elections. Already, Reid is feeling the heat from labor unions about his recent failure to advance a three-month extension of unemployment benefits.