"Nuclear Option" Changes Longstanding Precedent on Party-Line Vote
The move fans partisan flames
(Washington, D.C.) – Today the U.S. Senate voted to discard hundreds of years of long-standing precedent and instituted a new rule that forbids filibusters of Presidential nominations for courts and executive branch positions other than the Supreme Court. Under the new rule, the 60-vote threshold needed to overcome filibusters was lowered and now allows these nominees to be approved by a simple majority vote going forward – limiting the ability of the minority to debate concerns. The vote creates controversy because the Senate has traditionally changed its internal rules with broad bipartisan support. Today's change was imposed on a simple party-line vote, instead of a supermajority vote as Senate rules require. This further reduces the level of trust between the two parties.
Additionally, some have suggested that this vote was timed to deflect attention from the disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Today it became clear that the payment systems for the ACA are months behind, which may impact the federal portion of the premium for qualifying insurance buyers.
Jorge Lima, Policy Director of The LIBRE Initiative released the following statement:
"Right now the United States is dealing with major challenges: an economy that remains stagnant, dramatic changes to our health care system, and national security problems that include Iran's nuclear ambitions. All of these require cooperation between the two parties, and today's vote makes that even harder. The Administration and Congressional Democrats have created a governance culture in Washington that relies on mandates and less on the will of the people through their representatives.
Americans are growing increasingly frustrated with Washington and rightly so. Broken promises have become the norm. Limiting the ability of the minority to raise additional concerns and engage in necessary debates of the president's nominees poisons the well for future bipartisan cooperation."
For interviews with a LIBRE representative, please contact: Judy Pino, 202-578-6424 or Brian Faughnan, 571-257-3309.