Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Wednesday lashed out at Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-NV) ongoing threats to invoke the nuclear option to change the filibuster rules for nominations, if not legislation.
"Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that the culture of intimidation is simply confined to the executive branch. The administration's allies here in the senate are trying to intimidate their political opponents as well," he said. "What I'm talking about is the persistent threat by the majority to break the rules of the senate in order to change the rules of the Senate -- in other words, to use the nuclear option if they don't get their way."
“So these continued threats to use the nuclear option point to the Majority’s own culture of intimidation here in the Senate. Their view is that you had better confirm the people we want, when we want them, or we’ll break the rules of the Senate to change the rules so you can’t stop us. So much for respecting the rights of the minority."
Reid is said to be ready to use the nuclear option to eliminate filibusters of nominations, but it's unclear if he has 51 Democratic votes to do so. McConnell cited numerous presidential nominees that have been confirmed since his reelection and called the threats "a pretext for a power grab."
While many wonder how serious Reid is about the threat, McConnell's remarks suggests he isn't taking it lightly.