“What a shame” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on the upper chamber floor Wednesday afternoon regarding the fact that there was now an end to the debate on Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel by filing cloture. Cloture, which is the only procedure by which the Senate can vote to place a time limit on consideration of a bill, and thus overcome a filibuster, which is what the Republicans are trying to establish. Under the cloture rule, the Senate may limit consideration of a pending matter to 30 additional hours, but only by votes of three-fifths of the Senate, which comes out to about 60 votes.
According to Senator Reid this is the first time in the history of the country a nominee will require the 60 votes to be confirmed, which the White House is confident Hagel will be receive. Thus, if Senator Reid can get all the Democrats to vote yes he only needs five Republicans on his side, so can he accomplish this? As Steve Kornacki pointed out on Wednesday’s show, there have been cases when a nominee has not been confirmed so Chuck Hagel is not out of the woods just yet.
The Senate committee has also delayed the voting on the president’s CIA pick, John Brennan, because the panel wants the administration to turn over more details about the drone strike and the September 11th attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. So is this going to become the new normal for lawmaker on Capitol Hill to rely on these arcane tactic and stall legislative processes?
Joining the show today to help the Cylicts answer what is happening on the Hill is Former Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND). See you at 3 p.m. for the full conversation.