Harry Reid finally comes through
The Senate has voted to change its rules so that a simple majority is required to confirm judicial nominations and executive branch picks — the so-called “nuclear option.”
The final vote was 52-48. The previous threshold was 60 votes to bring such nominations to a final up-or-down vote.
“The threshold for cloture on nominations not including the Supreme Court, is now a majority,” Sen Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), the Senate president pro temp, declared after the vote.
Three Democrats voted with Republicans against the change: Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.). Levin is a longtime senator; Manchin and Pryor come from red states.
Shortly after the vote, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) office sent around a memo noting that the Senate has changed its procedures using a majority vote 18 times since 1977. Republicans, though, note that none of the changes rise to the level of today’s change.
Senate approves nuclear option