nuclear option

How Senate Republicans Will Likely Invoke the Nuclear Option
 

With 41 senators having announced they will vote against cloture on the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Senate Republicans will need to change Senate procedure in order to ensure the Colorado appeals court judge makes it to the high court. Here’s how the historic rules overhaul will likely go down when the cloture vote takes place — slated for this Thursday.

John McCain Entertains 'Nuclear Option' to Reject Iran Deal (Video)

McCain isn't ruling out the nuclear option. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. John McCain said Friday he would be willing to look at using the "nuclear option" to advance legislation against the Iran deal.  

"I think it would set a dangerous precedent, but frankly ... I'm in favor of exploring it. The seriousness of the impact of this agreement I think ... argues for us to look at any possible option that we can," the Arizona Republican said on Hugh Hewitt's radio show. "I'm not sure I want to change the rules of the Senate because we won't always be in the majority."  

How the Nuclear Option Changed the Judiciary

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For Sen. Harry Reid, going "nuclear" set the groundwork for his last great act of the 113th Congress.  

A little more than a year after Senate Democrats deployed the "nuclear option" to effectively change the Senate rules on nominations with a simple majority, Democrats up and down Pennsylvania Avenue generally seem happy with the changes, even as the Senate shifts to Republican control for 2015.  

Debo Adegbile Nomination Withdrawn, Returns to Private Practice (Updated)

Adegbile. (Courtesy WilmerHale)

Updated 12:14 p.m. | Having seen his Senate confirmation blocked by members of President Barack Obama's own party, Debo P. Adegbile has withdrawn from consideration to be an assistant attorney general.  

"Debo Adegbile has withdrawn himself from consideration for a position at the Department of Justice, and we are actively working toward announcing a new nominee for the post," a White House spokesperson told CQ Roll Call.  

Republicans Block Many Ambassador Nominations in 'Nuclear Option' Fallout (Updated)

Menendez sought consent to confirm 25 ambassadors, including ambassadors to Russia and Guatemala. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 11:07 p.m. | The Senate may not be confirming nominees to posts in a slew of countries before departing for the August recess, but after some  procedural maneuvering, the U.S. will be getting a top diplomat in Russia.  

Senators confirmed the nomination of John F. Tefft by voice vote as the chamber finished evening business after he faced objection to confirmation by unanimous consent earlier in the night.  

Cruz Threatens to Delay State Department Nominees Over FAA's Israel Flight Ban

(Tom William/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ted Cruz announced late Wednesday that he would hold up State Department nominees over a moratorium on U.S. flight traffic to Tel Aviv.  

As a practical matter, the move by the Texas Republican may not mean much, since a slew of ambassador nominees are already tied up in an existing logjam. Secretary of State John Kerry has been working the phones in an attempt to get diplomats through to confirmation.  

Reid Hints at 'Nuclear' Summer Over Debate Time (Video) (Updated)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:30 p.m. | On the morning of his Republican counterpart's primary back home in Kentucky , Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he would not change the chamber's rules in his absence.  

But Minority Leader Mitch McConnell might well be advised to be prepared for another floor standoff over consideration of nominations, even if its unclear just how much the  

Reid Responds to Obama's Comment on Changing Filibuster

"Does he know we already did that?" Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid quipped when asked about a comment President Barack Obama made Wednesday about changing the Senate's filibuster rule.  

Obama told a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee audience in New York that changes are needed to "how a filibuster works." "We have made significant progress with regard to judges, tremendous progress," Reid said. "We have ambassadors that should be all over the world. These are people who have worked hard, and finally get a chance to be an ambassador. Republicans don't allow votes on these," Reid said.  

Obama: Senate Needs to Change 'How a Filibuster Works'

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama endorsed more changes to the filibuster rules in the Senate in a speech Wednesday, remarks that will encourage senators who want to deploy the "nuclear option" again.  

At a fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in New York, Obama said Democrats need to change "how a filibuster works," without going into specifics.