From Bloomberg News, 29 March 2019.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans for force votes on a Republican plan to change the Senate’s rules to short-circuit the Democrat tactics when it comes to slowing down nominations from the US President. On Thursday, Mr McConnell announced the rules change on the Senate floor. This procedural change is called “nuclear option” that will change to Senate rules to a simple majority.
The current rules have crippled the ability of the Trump administration to staff up, and the word “crippled” is used by the Senator. Mitch McConnell warned Democrats that their strategy to prevent the president from staffing up by obstruction has become the new norm and Republicans would use the same tactics against Democrats.
Currently the rules for Cabinet Officials, circuit court judges and Supreme Court judges picks have a 30 hour debate before the final vote and this should, in the eyes of the Senate should remain. However, the lower level picks and District Court judges would have just two hours of debate instead of 30.
Senate Republicans have angered Democrats by repeatedly violating a blue chip tradition of only moving forward on judicial nominations when home-state senators OK their selection. Also, the Democrats are protesting the elimination fo the 60-vote threshold for ending filibusters on Supreme Court nominees.