Senate Republicans, who may possibly dismantle the filibuster rule for Supreme Court justices using the “nuclear option” later this week, are also seeking ways to change other rules that would speed up the nomination process for other judicial candidates and executive officers for President Donald Trump in the near future.
According to reporting from the Hill, Republicans want to change a rule in order to lower the required debate hours on a judicial nominee from 30 hours to just eight. The change would also “expedite sub-Cabinet nominees,” according to Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas).
The idea was initially pitched by Senator James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), who told the Washington Examiner that, “deliberation is pretty finished” after the initial eight hours. “You should be able to bring it to a close when the outcome is certain.”
While some Republicans seem dead-set on the idea of plowing through confirmation processes to green-light all future Trump nominees, longtime Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) is hesitant to back those rule changes. During a press gaggle, Sen. McCain candidly described anyone who thought blowing up the Supreme Court filibuster as a good idea was “a stupid idiot.” He has not yet commented on Sen. Cornyn’s proposal.
“I would like to meet that idiot, I’d like to meet the numskull that would say that,” McCain said. “That after 200 years, at least 100 years of this tradition, where the Senate has functioned pretty well, they think it would be a good idea to blow it up.”
Republicans previously complained in 2013 when Democrats used a similar maneuver to allow all non-Supreme Court nominees to reach a cloture vote with just 51 votes in the Senate. That rule expired at the end of that term of Congress.
Chris Walker been writing about political issues for the past decade, including for sites such as Elite Daily, AMERICAblog, and Mic. You can follow him on Twitter @thatchriswalker.