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Majority Leader Harry Reid announces his stance on gun bill.
The floor fireworks between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell were the set up to Reid's intention to put forward a number of nominations, including some that McConnell calls "unlawful." A Senate aide gave Greg Sargent some details.
According to a senior Senate Democratic aide, this means that Reid will file cloture on the following nominations today: Richard Cordray as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; Gina McCarthy as head of the Environmental Protection Agency;  Obama’s picks to the National Labor Relations Board; and possibly Thomas Perez as Labor Secretary.
In Thursday morning's exchange, McConnell suggested that Republicans would let McCarthy and Perez through, but continued his strenuous objections to Cordray and the NLRB nominations. Those nominations, Reid pointed out in his remarks, have been held up by Republicans not because the nominees are controversial, but because Republicans just don't like the law, saying, "[t]hey are blocking qualified nominees because they refuse to accept the law of the land."

For some historical context on where the Senate sits right now, People for the American Way provides this:

Bar graph showing number of executive nominations filibustered since Eisenhower
From 1949 (when Senate rules were changed to provide for cloture on nominations) through 2008, cloture votes were forced on only 20 executive branch nominations. However, in just the first four and a half years of the Obama administration, there have already been 16 such cloture votes, on the nominations of: Cass Sunstein (OMB), Robert Groves (Census), Harold Koh (State Department), Chris Hill (Ambassador to Iraq), David Hayes (Interior), Ben Bernanke (Federal Reserve), M. Patricia Smith (Labor Department), Martha Johnson (GSA), Craig Becker (NLRB), Lael Brainard (Treasury Department), James Cole (DOJ), Richard Cordray (CFPB), Norman Eisen (Ambassador to Czech Republic), Mari Aponte (Ambassador to El Salvador), Chuck Hagel (DOD), and John Brennan (CIA).

That’s an increase of more than 1,000% in the rate of forced cloture votes on nominations—20 nominations on which cloture votes were forced in sixty years compared to 16 in just four and a half.  Republicans are on pace to force 28 cloture votes by the end of the Obama administration—more than under all previous presidents combined.

In the next five days, Harry Reid and the reformers in the caucus—Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Tom Udall (D-NM)—have to convince 50 of the remaining senators in the Democratic caucus that it's time to do something about that, and that they can't be content to just deal with Republicans to allow a few nominees in and call that an acceptable outcome. In the next five days, Democratic senators have to hear from their constituents that this would not be an acceptable outcome.

Send an email to Harry Reid and your Democratic senators telling them to hang tough and to vote for real filibuster reform.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 10:25 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (27+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 10:25:48 AM PDT

  •  Is it really happening? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phonegery, Matt Z

    IS the proposed nuke option going to be nominee specific or is it going to cover any legislation?
    This is great news---if it happens!

    Imagine if we'd done this years ago...

  •  Keep in mind these numbers (8+ / 0-)

    only include actual cloture. They don't reflect the number of nominees or candidates who withdrew because of threatened filibusters.

  •  What happened in 1949? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jakedog42, Stude Dude

    Why did the rules change for Harry S Truman's 2nd term? Anybody know the history, which seems like it would be instructive to bring forward...

    "Finally escaped the rednecks only to find the vegans are advancing."

    by precinct1233 on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 10:39:52 AM PDT

  •  Pick a Historic Number for Filibusters (0+ / 0-)

    5 - 10 a year maybe, or less, maybe a lot less, maybe a smaller subset allowable for nominees.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 10:55:57 AM PDT

  •  Poor Harry. (6+ / 0-)

    As folks used to say about Dubya: Reid is all hat, no cattle.

    Nothing of any substance will be done here.

  •  Exactly how are these nominations "unlawful" or (2+ / 0-)

    "controversial"? Please proceed with your explanation, Mitch.

    "They will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy. The full faith and credit of the United States of America is not a bargaining chip."

    by TofG on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 11:15:03 AM PDT

  •  And Ezra Klein nails an analysis of M&M having (4+ / 0-)

    effectively painted the GOP into ma corner by year after year being obstructionist and repeatedly lying to Harry Reid:

    Ezra Klein: "What's so odd and interesting about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's threats to eliminate the filibuster on executive-branch nominees is that the... majority is considering rules changes precisely because there's nothing more the minority can obstruct that they really, really care about."

     "These aren't usual times in the Senate. So far as Reid is concerned, Republicans have already killed pretty much everything else the Democrats might want to do. When he's been confronted with the argument that Republicans might bring everything to a stop if Democrats change the rules, I'm told Reid's reply is sharp: 'And that would be different how?'

    "They will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy. The full faith and credit of the United States of America is not a bargaining chip."

    by TofG on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 11:21:27 AM PDT

  •  Just do it, already. (2+ / 0-)

    "Reportedly ready" isn't "did," "has," or "succeeded in."  

    Fewer lead-ins, more leadership.

    Can you call yourself a real liberal if you aren't reading driftglass?

    by CJB on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 11:33:58 AM PDT

  •  Filibuster Reform and then...? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Has anyone considered what Republicans will do the next time they gain access to all three branches of government?

    They will use "filibuster reform" in new ways, blame the Democrats for "starting it" and do to the USA what they are currently doing to North Carolina.  

    On the one hand, on the other hand reports from the media will obscure the fact that Republicans act with far more egregiousness and hutzpah than the Democrats.

    I am therefore opposed to this reform.  It gives Republicans an angle on exercising power that they will definitely use, one day.  They won't forget.

    And what is gained?  I know the Republicans have made life terribly difficult for Obama and the Senate Democrats--and of course for the American people--but how much will this change things?  The Republicans will continue to filibuster everything but administrative appointees, and the House is not going to chance its stripes.

    I think other avenues should be pursued, even though the compromises the Democrats ever could win are likely to furnish rather thin outcomes.

    It is best not to act out of frustration when the opposition, minority party is trying to frustrate you and make you do something stupid out of frustration.

    •  and then a functioning government, duh (4+ / 0-)

      Seriously, you sound like one of Reid's advisors, with the same stupid concerns.   Neither the executive nor the judicial branches have been able to function as they should since Obama has been in office.  
      WTF do you think the Repubs would do if they're back in the majority?  Anything they damn well please, just like they would regardless of whether Reid goes nuclear.  
      The only mistake that Reid is making if this report is true, and it would be a big mistake, is allowing for the continued obstruction of judicial nomiees and legislation.  What we should all be telling him is to go full nuclear, staff the executive and judicial branches so they can properly function, and allow the public to see the stark contrast between the Democratic Senate and Republican House--then see what else is gained, which would be much better prospects for 2014.

      •  seriously? (0+ / 0-)

        ..."the same stupid concerns"


        Dude, seriously?  Glad to see you're cool-headed and thinking rationally.

        And as for this:

        "...go full nuclear, staff the executive and judicial branches so they can properly function, and allow the public to see the stark contrast between the Democratic Senate and Republican House..."

        really?  I guess no one on the other side would mention the nuclear option once it was exercised.  And I'm sure the public would just go nuts for the Democrats and vote out the republicans in their gerrymandered seats in the house.  And pigs will fly, too.

        It's gonna take a bit more than this to get things done.

        •  another sternly worded letter? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Capt Crunch, roycej

          dude seriously, WTF are your supposedly more reasonable alternatives?  


          "I guess no one on the other side would mention the nuclear option once it was exercised"

          oh golly gee, you're right I never thought of that, the Republicans might act unreasonably and continue to do everything in their power to obstruct the Senate and the entire government from functioning, just like they're doing now.  Oh noes!
          One huge difference would be that the executive and judicial branches would be staffed and fully functional.  I know that doesn't mean squat to folks like you, who are more concerned with the poor Repubs hurt fee-fees, but even Harry Reid isn't as much of a spineless wimp as you appear to be.  
          Nothing, absolutely nothing will be lost by going nuclear at this point, and a lot will be gained.  Including, as I mentioned above, a more clear choice for the public.  

          •  Well... (0+ / 0-)

            I think I'm about through here.  As Capt Crunch says (below) "welcome to Kos".  Between that response and this one I am said to:

            "side with the republicans" (crunch)

            think that a fully functioning judiciary and executive branch means "squat" (red rabbit)

            and now I'm a "spineless wimp" (red rabbit).

            Well, okay.  Whatever you say.  I have better things to do than get into this type of discussion, which really isn't much of a conversation.

            My only point was a rather simple one: open the door a crack, and these guys will eventually open it all the way.

            You seem to think that will happen anyhow.  I am not so sure.

            And as for the "crickets" regarding what else could be done.  Well, why didn't the President get out there and make the case for stopping this severe obstruction?  He never really did it.  Not effectively.  The statistics regarding pace of appointments that Harry Reid quoted today never made it to the evening news or the front pages of the NY Times or many other mainstream media outlets.  

            But, hey, if you want our representatives to bash republicans and so on, go "nuclear", well, that can happen.  

            But with some properly applied political pressure and something of that type of (admittedly more nuanced, less nuclear) strategy, the Dems could have gotten a good bit of what they want, though of course not everything.

            Okay, I am sure you will think that makes me a wimp and so on, but let's see what you have to say in 4 or 5 (hopefully 8 or 12) years when the shoe is on the other foot.  

            Oh, and calling me a spineless wimp won't make this analysis of yours any more cogent:

            "Nothing, absolutely nothing will be lost by going nuclear at this point, and a lot will be gained.  Including, as I mentioned above, a more clear choice for the public."

    •  McConnell already made your argument for you. (2+ / 0-)

      But I'm sure he'd be glad you repeated it for him.

      •  which proves my point. (0+ / 0-)

        They'll use this as an excuse to take reform further, and one day they will.

        Why give them the excuse?

        •  Which proves you side with the Republicans. (0+ / 0-)

          No matter what the Democrats do regarding the filibuster the Republicans will trash the filibuster the second they control the Senate.
          But you already know that - don't you?
          That would be why the only thing you've ever posted was the Republican argument for NOT touching the filibuster.
          Welcome to Kos.

          •  really? (0+ / 0-)

            Alright capt crunch.  I can see from the headline of your message that you don't accept that others might be (lifelong) Democrats--and democrats--but somehow might not agree with you.  

            I don't "already know" that republicans will trash the filibuster the second they control the senate, but apparently you do.  Of course, we'll never know for certain.  

            We do know that the Republicans had both chambers in their hands in the 108th and 109th congresses, as well as the White House.  There was a 50-50 tie in the senate of tjhe 107th congress.  Somehow, the filibuster (barely) survived.  Those are facts.  And so it is also a fact that this latest move changes the calculus.  

            I'm not happy at all about the status quo, not that you would believe me when I say so, but that is true.  It's just that I can see beyond the immediate implications of this move.

            Now, one last point.  You are right that I have never posted on KOS.  But I did get into a nice email exchange with Markos himself over email some years ago when the Affordable Care Act fight was in the endgame.  I urged him to support it, and he insulted me much the way red rabbit did a few posts above this one, and had little regard for my views, much like you here.

            My point with him then was: take half a loaf now.  And much as I hate the lack of a public option (or even an attempt at single-payer) that was the right call at the time.  

            So, I am used to Kos people telling me I'm stupid.  Funny how they never write to recant when it turns out their wrong.

            •  You're a Republican - admit it. (0+ / 0-)
              I don't "already know" that republicans will trash the filibuster the second they control the senate, but apparently you do.  Of course, we'll never know for certain.
              If we'll never know for certain then that means they will never control the Senate. Right there in your answer is the first fallacy.
              You don't want change to the filibuster because it will give Republicans more power when they control the Senate. But in your quoted response you say they will never control the Senate.

              Additionally, it's your half-a-loaf approach that is decimating the Democratic Party. And the Republicans love it. That's why you love it.

              You've been a member for years and yet only posted in the last few days to object to filibuster reform. That's smells fishy.

              So, I am used to Kos people telling me I'm stupid.  Funny how they never write to recant when it turns out their wrong.
              You were wrong about the ACA, wrong about the filibuster and wrong about the half-a-loaf approach. You're the one that needs to recant - if you ever decide to post again in the next five years.
              •  Well, (0+ / 0-)

                Capt Crunch,

                I have to say, you must be a private detective in your non-posting life, because you so cleverly found me--the secret republican.  (That is sarcasm, just to be clear.  Wouldn't want to confuse you.)

                There was no fallacy in what I wrote about the filibuster.  My only point was that, if the filibuster rules were changed by the Democrats, we would never be able to come to know whether the Republicans would have changed them first.  Basic logic.  Now, however, since a compromise was forged, it is clearly the case that we will see whether the Republicans will change the filibuster rules preemptively.  That was my only point.

                Also, I never said the Republicans would never control the senate, again.  I think they probably will, unless they continue to go downhill and into oblivion, which I suppose is possible.

                On the half-loaf thing.  Well, I can't say I am happy that the Democrats have to compromise with a party that increasingly moves to the crazy right (you know "my" republican party--yes sarcasm, again, in case you missed it).  

                But one has to look at the particulars of each engagement on a case-by-case basis.  We can't just blast everyone in the opposition all the time on every issue.  That's too much of a blunted tool.  (Note the junior senator from New York has secured support from Rand Paul and Ted Cruz on sexual assault in the military.)

                In the two cases, I stand by my judgments:

                1. In ACA, when I spoke up, it was clear the other options (which as I said I would have preferred) were off the table.  We weren't getting single-payer or the public option by the time I wrote.  I guess you'll just have to take my word for that, but perhaps I can dig up the emails and forward them to you, if I still have them.  So, you know, I just disagree with you.  We got ACA, which is clearly better than nothing, the other option at the time I made my judgment.

                2. On filibusters: I think it would have been a terrible precedent to set, changing the filibuster rules, only for the sake of some administrative nominees.  Seems shortsighted to me.  I mean, that fight would have still left what overall is a larger problem: the court-packing of the GOP over many presidencies, executed by slow-walking or blocking many, many Democratic nominees.  There is more work to be done, clearly, after today's compromise.  But think of the outcome if Reid had changed the filibuster rule today in a limited way: he would have to do so, again, on judicial nominees, or have only a "half-loaf" to show for the move.  Bad tactics, if you ask me.

                In the end, this recent episode worked out quite well, in my opinion.   And I feel rather vindicated by today's actions, because they show that there are members of the senate even in the GOP who care about the body beyond mere politics.  Reid used the threat of a rule-change to get substantial concessions from the GOP senators.  That's good.  It's not enough, but it's better than before.

                Now, to make his threat believable--that he really would go nuclear--Reid and the Dems needed and need people like you at dailykos to kick and scream and so on.  So, there is a service to this.  But, surely you can see that attack!, attack!, attack! is not really a wise strategy always to pursue.  

                So, I have nothing to recant.  On to the next battle.  People like you can serve quite well as the sort of shock-troops for the leadership.  (But don't mistake it for influence.)  I am happy cooler head prevailed, and hope Reid moves forward to the next issue, which for me involves the judicial nominations.

                Finally, let me say this: I have no idea how to use to figure out who has posted when or how often and so on, as you seem to know.  Call me a luddite or whatever (red rabbit jumped straight to "stupid"), but I don't have time to mess around with such things.  I just read the articles.  So, know that I understand that maybe in other blog-posts you are a nuanced, careful, amiable writer.  I just don't know.  I do know, however, that your response here did nothing with the facts I presented you in my previous post.  

                So, to close: since clearly you know how often I have posted, and so I guess you're the dailykos police, at least for me.  Please do keep an eye on me, and perhaps other fishy imposters, so that we don't destroy the Daily Kos community with our attempts to infiltrate with GOP talking-points.  And I'll try to post more so I meet your required quotas and can then be taken seriously by you.

    •  So basically what you're saying is (0+ / 0-)

      the status quo is acceptable. Surely you don't believe that the minority party should be allowed to veto any and all nominees and legislation.  If that is the case, then why elect Democrats to the Senate?  Why do we need them?  Yes, compromise is preferable, but Harry Reid has pursued the "other avenues" you speak of for years now.  As you know  compromise is a dirty word to today's Tea party dominated Republican legislators.  They will continue the current tactics until Democrats grow some backbone.

      As a lifelong Democrat I want to see my party utilize the power it's been entrusted with.  If I wanted the Republicans to run the Senate I would have elected them.   There comes a time when leaders must act.  To Harry and the Senate Democrats I say,  lead or step aside!  Pass filibuster reform without delay!

      •  for me? (0+ / 0-)

        I am not sure if this is for me, but let me respond by saying I agree with you that Republicans are way out of hand, in an unprecedented manner, and that Reid has tried.  I actually like Reid overall, though there are many points on which we would disagree.

        But this is a last-ditch strategy.  Why hasn't there been a coordinated campaign to make something of this?  Why has there been no effort to split the Republican caucus on this one?  There are some old hands there that care about the traditions of the senate, etc.  No?  I'm not saying the opposition is reasonable or that the present circumstances are acceptable--particularly on the CFPB, in my view--but can't the Democrats try with any seriousness another strategy other than "woe with us" before going nuclear?

        Anyhow, I suppose it is the job of daily kos people to lead these types of charges, but I hope those leading our party who hold political office are thinking in more complex ways than capt Crunch and red rabbit seem to be.

        •  First, let me say (0+ / 0-)

          you appear to a very intelligent, thoughtful person, and I respect your viewpoint; but I simply have to disagree.  Time and time again the Republicans have abused the filibuster power.  If any of them were inclined to compromise they would have done so.  The Tea Party keeps a tight rein on them.  If they want to stay in power and avoid being primaried, they dare not compromise.

          I'm not a fan of Harry Reid , but he certainly has been patient with the current situation, and given them every opportunity to do the right thing.  The President deserves to have the cabinet  he chooses.  He also deserves a vote on all his judicial nominations.  And most importantly the public deserves to have their votes counted and their problems addressed.  Voters elected Democrats to run the Senate, and Republicans are disrespecting democracy by preventing them from doing so.  When all is said and done, sometimes leaders simply have to lead.  Harry is the leader of the Senate and needs to get this done, and many of us are tired of excuses.

          •  Fair enough (0+ / 0-)

            Hey, thanks for the thoughtful response.  I guess we now know that many of the administration's nominees will get through.  So, that's good news.

            Of course, there is the larger and more substantial problem of many years of delayed and filibustered votes on the judicial nominees.  Typical republican ploy, but worse in the Obama years than ever.

            I guess we can disagree on what should have happened to the filibuster, but my view is that the republicans are really losing the country, and the Dems should play the long game.  Let's see what they do about judicial nominees, next.

  •  I refuse to get excited about the idea (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ender, Notreadytobenice

    that Harry Reid may actually do something about reforming the filibuster. I've been down this road of expectations so many times that I've come to the conclusion that Charlie Brown has a better chance of Lucy actually holding the football for his kick than we have of seeing Reid take meaningful action on his empty threats.

    For whatever reason, Reid seems only able  to hold his breath, stamp his feet and point an accusatoryl finger at the Republicans for their obstructionist behavior, but is completely incable of pulling the trigger on the one action that would end the obstructionism - - - reforming the filibuster.

    I'll keep my eye on the daily kos for future updates, but I don't hold out any hope that Reid will do what he needs to do. After all, he never has before.

  •  The World's Greatest Debilitative Body. (3+ / 0-)

    McConnell sets a great example for 5 year olds throughout the land.

    "We don't analyze the behavioural traits of people who carry weapons. We're looking for terrorists," -- TSA spokesman.

    by here4tehbeer on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 12:10:47 PM PDT

  •  It's nearly unfathomable (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    Why anyone in their right mind who works, or "consumes" any damn thing would vote Republican is mind-boggling.

    The Village Democrats are bad enough, but sheesh!

    DC's Republicans are just pure poison for the majority of their voters lives and still they show up at the polls.

    ..and they're all made out of ticky-tacky and they all look just the same.

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 12:15:36 PM PDT

  •  Has Harry caved yet? Just checking...nt (0+ / 0-)
    •  He's pretty much caved by not including judicial (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      nominees and legislation. But then, I'm sure weak democratic senators wouldn't back him on them anyway.

      "They will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy. The full faith and credit of the United States of America is not a bargaining chip."

      by TofG on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 12:58:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  reid is ready (0+ / 0-)

    that means sometime this year or next.

  •  Signed, then called (0+ / 0-)

    My two Senators here in California (which feels good to say after 8 years in DC). DiFi and Boxer have to get with the program. Enough is enough.

    I'm proud to serve as Director of Online Programs at the Courage Campaign.

    by Adam Bink on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 12:34:18 PM PDT

  •  I'm Not So Wild About Harry (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    He's let me down too many times before.
    But, like Charlie Brown, I'll let him hold the football one more time - I really don't have any choice.
    And if Harry finally doesn't pull it away at the last instant, maybe the Republicans will wake up. (Well, not really. But they will certainly soil their underwear.)
    Don't let me down Harry - Not this time.
    The stakes are too high.

  •  Oh get real, I've corrected the silly part (0+ / 0-)
    In the next five days, Harry Reid and the reformers in the caucus—Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Tom Udall (D-NM)—have to convince 50 of the remaining senators in the Democratic caucus that it's time to do something about that,

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:49:30 PM PDT

  •  The gentleman's club no more (0+ / 0-)

    The filibuster was once a functional tool but it cannot work when you have a minority leader who lacks the integrity and courage to govern effectively. McConnell is a wimp who has no backbone or as some would say, a creepyass cracker.

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