Schumer Says He Wishes Dems Hadn’t Nuked The Filibuster For Cabinet Picks

FILE - In this May 17, 2012 file photo, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Democrats want to push tax cuts through the Senate for companies that hire new wor... FILE - In this May 17, 2012 file photo, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Democrats want to push tax cuts through the Senate for companies that hire new workers, give raises or buy major new equipment this year. With neither party eager to let the other claim campaign-season victories, the ultimate fate of the roughly $29 billion legislation seems dubious. Debate was to begin Tuesday, though it was possible Republicans would use procedural blockades to quickly derail the measure. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File) MORE LESS
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Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Tuesday that he regretted Senate Democrats’ move in 2013 to reduce the number of votes required to confirm Cabinet picks from 60 to 51.

“I argued against it at the time. I said both for Supreme Court and in Cabinet should be 60 because on such important positions there should be some degree of bipartisanship,” the newly-minted Senate minority leader told CNN’s Dana Bash, according to the network’s transcript. “I won on Supreme Court, lost on Cabinet. But it’s what we have to live with now.”

The so-called “nuclear option” that Senate Democrats exercised in 2013 may have given President-elect Donald Trump much greater freedom to choose unorthodox Cabinet members, knowing that Senate Democrats alone don’t have the votes to filibuster his nominees.

Included in Trump’s Cabinet roster are multiple picks with no experience at all in government, others who have for years been actively antagonistic against the agencies they may now lead, and some who may face conflicts of interest in governing industries in which they formerly operated.

During the Obama administration, Senate Democrats changed Cabinet confirmation rules as a response to perceived Republican obstructionism.

“Wish it hadn’t happened,” Schumer said Tuesday.

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Notable Replies

  1. Trump: It’s not going to matter. My cabinet has been effectively outsourced to Russia.

  2. “Wish it hadn’t happened,” Schumer said Tuesday.

    I wish Democrats wouldn’t lose so many fucking winnable Senate races.

  3. During the Obama administration, Senate Democrats changed Cabinet confirmation rules as a response to perceived Republican obstructionism.

    Perceived? Seriously?

  4. If they hadn’t nuked the filibuster in 2013, we might still be waiting for some of Obama’s nominees to get confirmed.

    We’ve still got empty judge slots. And there’s that Merrick Garland thing…

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