Democrats may have changed the rules on filibusters, but far from ending the intense battle over President Obama’s nominations, the move has pushed Republicans to fight harder — and to pioneer other tactics.
The latest move was made late Friday, just as the Senate was preparing to adjourn for a two-week recess. Republicans refused to allow a courtesy request to keep the full slate of Obama nominees pending. As a result, the nomination process must restart early next year.
It was a capstone of a year in which a deal on filibusters frayed and finally collapsed, leaving the Senate atmosphere more poisoned than it has been in generations.
Restarting the nomination process is a small procedural hurdle, but it’s the latest sign that Republicans intend for Democrats to feel the pain from using the “nuclear option” in November to change the filibuster rules.
“The normal way the Senate has operated for a couple hundred years has been destroyed this year, and to ask that normalcy come about now is just beyond the pale,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, said as he delivered the parliamentary blow that forced dozens of nominations to be killed for lack of action.
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