Senate Dems have the votes to filibuster, but will Republicans go nuclear?
Friday, the Senate will hold a confirmation vote fo Trump Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch. Senate Democrats are feverishly working to whip up enough votes to filibuster Gorsuch’s confirmation.
As it stands, Senate Democrats are still short the votes need to block Gorsuch’s ascension to the Supreme Court.
Ranking Senate Judiciary Democrat, Dianne Feinstein, said Monday she will not vote for Judge Gorsuch:
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), the senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, announced she will oppose President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, Monday.
“Unfortunately, based on Judge Gorsuch’s record at the Department of Justice, his tenure on the bench, his appearance before the Senate and his written questions for the record, I cannot support this nomination,” she told colleagues before a scheduled committee vote on his nomination.
A spokesman also said that she will support a Democratic filibuster.
Sen. Warner is also a no:
And now Mark Warner is a no on Neil Gorsuch (on confirmation and cloture). That puts Dems at 39 of the 41 they need. pic.twitter.com/lbLoipRnBC
— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) April 3, 2017
Michael Bennet (D-CO) however, won’t support the filibuster. In a statement, he said, “using the filibuster and nuclear option at this moment takes us in the wrong direction.”
That makes 4 Senate Dems so far against a filibuster- GOP needs 4 more to get to 60 and to avoid using "nuclear option" -Senate rule change https://t.co/rjUdASHQvC
— Bret Baier (@BretBaier) April 3, 2017
Coons also a ‘no’.
Coons "no" on Gorsuch SCOTUS nomination
— JohnCornyn (@JohnCornyn) April 3, 2017
With Coons voting no, that gives Senate Dems the 41 needed to filibuster.
BREAKING: 41 Senate Democrats now plan to vote against Judge Gorsuch and filibuster his nomination.
— Ed O'Keefe (@edatpost) April 3, 2017
Republicans could still invoke the nuclear option, requiring only a simple majority to confirm Gorsuch.
TFW you hear it's time to go nuclear pic.twitter.com/2zHVn3KQ3k
— Andrew Mullins (@AndrewWMullins) April 3, 2017
With Senate Democrats cobbling together enough votes to filibuster the confirmation vote, Senate Republicans are left with the “nuclear option.”
It wasn’t so long ago the former Senate Majority leader, Sen. Harry Reid, invoked the nuclear option, saying, “it had to be done.”
Thanks to all of you who encouraged me to consider filibuster reform. It had to be done.
— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) November 21, 2013
From the WaPo:
This week’s anticipated change in Senate procedure dates to 2013, when Democrats, angered by Republican opposition to President Barack Obama’s nominees, used the “nuclear option” to end filibusters of executive branch and lower-court nominees, prompting Republicans to warn that there might one day be retribution.
“Changing the rules is almost inevitable; it’s only a question of when,” said Norm Ornstein, a longtime congressional expert and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
Ornstein warned that with Republicans set to extend the filibuster ban to Supreme Court nominees, they may soon face pressure to end filibusters of legislation to keep major health-care and tax reform bills passed by the GOP-led House from stalling in the more closely-divided Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) “will resist the change in some cases because it’s in his interest not only when he’s in the minority again but also to be able to rely on Democrats when the House sends you crazy things,” Ornstein said. “And because it’s not clear they have the 51 votes necessary to change the rules for filibusters on legislation.”
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