The rules change brought about by Senator Reid and the Democratic Caucus is already providing important results in breaking the gridlock that has stymied the efficiency of government over the past few years.
Recall, on Nov. 21, 2013, Senator Reid and the Senate majority changed the Senate rules in order to allow judicial and executive nominations to have simple up-or-down votes. As Reid said of the rules change, “it’s something that both sides should be willing to live with to make Washington work again.” Indeed, Washington is working again.
In the weeks since the rules change, 16 nominees have been confirmed by the Senate. Those nominees include the head of the Department of Homeland Security, the Secretary of the Air Force, and judges who fill “judicial emergencies.”
In fact, none of these nominees would have been confirmed under the old Senate rules because cloture was invoked on all of them with less than 60 votes (the old standard for successful cloture). After voting to block these nominees, Republicans have flipped and voted to confirm a handful of them.