Harry Reid Goes Nuclear: Changes Senate Rules to Sideline Republicans
In a surprise move, Harry Reid and senate Democrats passed the nuclear option tonight in the US senate 51-48.
The Hill reported:
In a shocking development Thursday evening, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) triggered a rarely used procedural option informally called the “nuclear option” to change the Senate rules.
Reid and 50 members of his caucus voted to change Senate rules unilaterally to prevent Republicans from forcing votes on uncomfortable amendments after the chamber has voted to move to final passage of a bill. Reid’s coup passed by a vote of 51-48, leaving Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) fuming.
The surprise move stunned Republicans, who did not expect Reid to bring heavy artillery to what had been a humdrum knife fight over amendments to China currency legislation. The maneuver is arcane but momentous.
If a simple majority of the Senate votes with Reid and strikes down the ruling, the chamber’s precedent will be changed through the unilateral action of one party.
Of course, Obama and democratic leaders strongly opposed the nuclear option back in 2005… But, that was when they were the minority.