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Senate Considers “Going Nuclear” to Expedite Federal and Judicial Nominations

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Senate Considers “Going Nuclear” to Expedite Federal and Judicial Nominations

January 28, 2019

ANCOR is sharing this segment from The Hill because of the general relevance of Cabinet appointees to the disability community, such as nominations for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

“Senate Republicans are discussing trying to muscle through a rules change that would significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to confirm most of Trump’s nominees as soon as next week.

Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.), asked about using the ‘nuclear option’ to change the rules, told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Monday that he thought the chamber could take up the issue after a procedural vote on Trump’s immigration plan, which Democrats are expected to block.

‘I support the move, because Democrats have been in an ahistorical fashion violating precedence about the number of hours in which one debates noncontroversial nominees that have been reported out of different committees of jurisdiction,’ Young said, when asked about using the ‘nuclear option.’

Currently, nominations face up to an additional 30 hours of debate time even after they’ve cleared an initial vote that shows they have the simple majority support needed to pass.

But the proposal being discussed by Republicans would cut the debate time down from 30 hours to eight hours. It would further cap post-cloture debate time for district court nominations at two hours.

Most Cabinet-level nominees, as well as Supreme Court nominees and circuit court nominees, would still be subjected to the full 30 hours of debate.

The proposal is similar to a resolution that passed with bipartisan support in 2013, but only governed the 113th Congress. Democrats were in control of the chamber at the time.

But Republicans are unlikely to get bipartisan support for the effort and are openly mulling using the ‘nuclear option,’ which allows the Senate rules to be changed with only a simple majority. They have an expanded majority, with 53 seats, giving them more leeway to muscle through the changes over Democratic objections.”