WASHINGTON – In response to unprecedented Republican obstruction of President Obama’s nominees, the Senate changed its rules today to permit a simple majority of senators to end debate on executive branch nominees as well as nominees to federal district and circuit courts. This action paves the way for Senate confirmation of the three currently pending nominees to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
What pushed senators over the edge seems to have been the Senate GOP’s blocking of three D.C. Circuit nominees over the past three weeks. Long before President Obama even named his picks for the D.C. Circuit, Republicans signaled that they would block them no matter who was nominated, simply to keep the president from filling vacancies on the nation’s second most important court.
Marge Baker, executive vice president of People For the American Way, issued the following statement:
The fact that there’s now a path forward to the confirmation of these three extraordinarily qualified D.C. Circuit nominees is unquestionably good news.
It’s now time for the Senate to get on with the business of governing after spending far too long bogged down with reckless GOP obstruction.
Republicans’ abuse of Senate rules during this administration has been astounding. While President Obama has made an effort to work with Republican senators to nominate fair, accomplished judges, Republicans have blocked his nominees at every turn, often for no reason other than the fact that it was President Obama who nominated them.
This irresponsible obstruction is part of a larger effort by Republicans in Congress to nullify laws they don’t like and overturn the results of elections that they lost. This profoundly anti-democratic approach to governing shut down our federal government, and threatened to shut down our courts.
We are thrilled that President Obama’s D.C. Circuit nominees and the other federal judicial nominees waiting for Senate votes will finally get the fair consideration that they deserve. Senate Republicans have refused to do their jobs for far too long. It’s time to get the Senate working again.