Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) acted like a “bully” when he invoked the “nuclear option” to eliminate the filibuster on Thursday, according to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).
“I think what we really need is an anti-bullying ordinance in the Senate,” Paul told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “I mean, now we’ve got a big bully, Harry Reid says he’s just going to break the rules and make new rules. Never been done this way before.”
Democrats voted against upholding filibuster rules, rendering only a simple majority of votes necessary to end a filibuster, with the exception of Supreme Court nominees.
But Paul argued the D.C. Circuit Court doesn’t face a heavy enough case load to merit confirming President Barack Obama’s judicial nominees, whose filibusters prompted Reid to resort to the “nuclear option.” He also accused the majority leader of moving on rules reform in order to distract from problems plaguing the Affordable Care Act.
“He’s got to have everything his way, he’s got to control everything,” Paul said of Reid. “This is more about them trying to control the agenda and shift it away from Obamacare than it is anything else.”
Republicans suggested that their colleagues would face retribution for the rules change. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said Democrats would “pay a heavy, heavy price” for the reform, while Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) declared on the Senate floor that his party wouldn’t hesitate to eliminate the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees once they regain a majority.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.