Reid, McConnell Dig In On Jobs/Judges Standoff

Senate leaders dug in Tuesday afternoon on a standoff involving the bipartisan JOBS Act and stalled judicial nominees.

In a press conference at the Capitol, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) argued that the 17 stalled federal district court nominees should be dealt with in the coming months and that he’s more concerned with moving the small-business JOBS Act the moment the highway bill is passed.

“We hope the Senate Democratic majority will not obstruct our ability to go forward and actually accomplish good things for the American people,” McConnell told reporters. “I assume these 17 people already have a job… What we’re worried about is all the people who don’t currently have a job.”

His fellow Senate GOP leaders, standing alongside him, sought to drive home the same message.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) countered that there’s no legitimate reason for the GOP to continue blocking the nominees, noting that McConnell has already conceded that most are noncontroversial and will ultimately be confirmed. Reid told reporters that it’ll take “five minutes” to clear the prospective judges once Republicans drop their filibuster, at which point he’ll move on to JOBS.

As to the charge that Dems are trying to gum up the works on the JOBS Act, Reid said, “I don’t know logically what in the world they’re talking about.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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