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White House spokesman Jay Carney gave his strongest argument to date for the need for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to invoke the so-called “nuclear option” — a way for Democrats to break through Senate gridlock to get President Obama’s nominees passed.

With Reid, D-Nevada, upping his threats to change Senate rules to allow Obama’s nominees to win approval with just a majority vote, instead of the traditional 60 votes required, Carney accused Republicans going to unprecedented lengths to stymie Obama’s executive branch nominees.

“Republicans have needlessly and systematically obstructed our nominees even though they have extraordinary credentials and bipartisan support,” Carney told reporters in his daily briefing Monday. “… Republicans have brought Washington gridlock to new heights or new lows — depending on how you look at it.”

Earlier Monday during a speech at the Center for American Progress, Reid said the Senate is an “evolving institution” that is stuck in gridlock and needs reform.

He said Republicans holds and filibusters of Obama’s nominees are “unbelievable” and “untoward.”

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