nuclear-option

Senate Seeks Bipartisanship in Rules Overhaul

Sen. Patty Murray, from left, Schumer and Reid after the Democratic policy luncheon. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Charles E. Schumer is upbeat that the Senate's rules will be tweaked by the time he's expected to become Democratic leader in 2017 — regardless of which leadership job that becomes.  

But for any rules change plan to advance, the New York Democrat says it will have to be bipartisan and need a two-thirds vote. Both sides agree the "nuclear option" won't be used to implement adjustments in how the Senate takes up legislation.  

McConnell Faces More Calls for 'Nuclear Option' in Senate

Smith and other House Republicans are pressuring McConnell to change Senate rules. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's repeated ill-fated efforts to break filibusters of legislation to reject or impose conditions on the Iran deal have had an unusual side effect.  

House Republicans, sick of being blamed for the gridlock in Congress and tired of passing bills that never get to President Barack Obama's desk, have begun to direct their ire onto an unusual target: the Kentucky Republican.  

Senators Running for President Defend the Filibuster

Cruz and Rubio are among those who oppose eliminating the filibuster to repeal Obamacare. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If using the nuclear option to repeal Obamacare becomes a GOP litmus test, then the Republican senators running for president will have a problem.  

Both Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have told conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt some variation of no way, no how to the idea of ending the 60-vote threshold for filibusters of legislation.  

Rand Paul Will Force Patriot Act Provisions to Expire (Updated)

Paul announces on Twitter he is planning to force the expiration of parts of the Patriot Act. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated May 30, 11:06 a.m. |  Sen. Rand Paul made it official Saturday: Patriot Act surveillance authorities are going to lapse.  

The Kentucky Republican fired off a series of tweets outlining his past steps designed to stop what he has called the unconstitutional use of general warrants.  

Ted Cruz: Preserve Filibuster, Even For Obamacare Repeal

Cruz wants to keep the filibuster, even though it makes it harder to repeal Obamacare. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

There's a limit to what Sen. Ted Cruz would do to repeal Obamacare.  

The Texas Republican said Monday that Republicans should do “everything humanly possible to repeal Obamacare" during a speech at Heritage Action’s annual policy summit. It's a line he's used before. But he later added a caveat.  

How the Nuclear Option Changed the Judiciary

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For Sen. Harry Reid, going "nuclear" set the groundwork for his last great act of the 113th Congress.  

A little more than a year after Senate Democrats deployed the "nuclear option" to effectively change the Senate rules on nominations with a simple majority, Democrats up and down Pennsylvania Avenue generally seem happy with the changes, even as the Senate shifts to Republican control for 2015.  

Senate GOP Wrestles With Whether to Undo the Nuclear Option

Graham wants Republicans to defuse the nuclear option and return the 60-vote threshold on nominations. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After crying foul when Democrats used the nuclear option to essentially eliminate the filibuster for most nominations, Senate Republicans are wrestling with whether to change it back.  

Republicans, who will take over the majority next Congress, met Tuesday evening to discuss the matter, but reached no decision on a course of action. Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., John McCain, R-Ariz., and others are calling on their colleagues to reinstate the 60-vote threshold for breaking a filibuster on nominations to force people to go across the aisle.  

The Attack Ads Harry Reid Didn't Want You to See

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Harry Reid's strategy of blocking amendments all year was intended with one clear objective in mind — protecting his majority.  

Republicans have complained vociferously about the Senate majority leader shutting down amendments — but behind the scenes, the Nevada Democrat's senators asked him to do so for a very simple reason: Nobody wants to give an opponent fodder for 30-second ads in a tough election year.  

Ginsburg Won't Resign, Notes Senate Kept Filibuster for SCOTUS Despite 'Nuclear Option'

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg sounds like she might have retired from the Supreme Court if Senate Democrats went a step further with the "nuclear option."  

In an interview with Elle magazine , the 81-year-old associate justice pointed to the fact that filibusters of Supreme Court nominations are still allowed by the Senate.  

Debo Adegbile Nomination Withdrawn, Returns to Private Practice (Updated)

Adegbile. (Courtesy WilmerHale)

Updated 12:14 p.m. | Having seen his Senate confirmation blocked by members of President Barack Obama's own party, Debo P. Adegbile has withdrawn from consideration to be an assistant attorney general.  

"Debo Adegbile has withdrawn himself from consideration for a position at the Department of Justice, and we are actively working toward announcing a new nominee for the post," a White House spokesperson told CQ Roll Call.