Dems: Thanks Ted Cruz And Mike Lee For The Extra Help Advancing Nominees

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December 13, 2014 6:18 p.m.

While Republican senators were fuming at Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) for holding up a $1.1 trillion spending bill aimed at preventing a government shutdown, Democrats saw a silver lining: the move by Cruz and Lee gave Democrats an opening to move a number of President Barack Obama’s nominees for federal judgeships and the executive branch.

What happened was that when Cruz and Lee scuttled a deal between Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that would have allowed lawmakers to leave Washington D.C. for the weekend and come back Monday they gave Democrats a chance to advance Obama’s presidential appointees by having to stay in D.C. to deal with the spending bill.

The extra time over the weekend gave Reid the opportunity to, through the Senate’s executive session, file cloture on the nominations and move them sooner than they would have under the deal Reid and McConnell had planned on and that Cruz and Lee blocked. Under the original deal Reid would have had to schedule votes on the nominees later in the upcoming week, when Democrats may not have wanted to stick around to vote.

“It allows us to speed up the time when we could get going on these noms, rather than waiting until next week,” a top Senate Democratic aide told TPM on Saturday evening. “It gets harder to get them all done when you’re running up on the end of the Congress.”

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Republican operatives argued about the resulting extra time for nominees.

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