White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today celebrated the “deal” struck by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Republicans over use of the “nuclear option” with respect to President Obama’s nominees, saying Obama thinks Reid did an “excellent” job.
And right you are Jay!
As you may be aware, Reid threatened the nuclear option, which would have ended Republicans’ ability to filibusters Obama’s nominees and instead force a simple majority vote. Filibusters require 60 votes to break.
Republicans said, please, let’s talk it over. Don’t they know you’re not supposed to negotiate with terrorists? And yet they did, and they got steamrollered by the shark from Nevada.
Obama basically got to have all the nominees he wanted – including Richard Cordray, who was almost immediately sworn in today as the director of the United States Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Reid threw Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell a little face saver by making Obama withdraw two nominees to the National Labor Relations Board whom Republicans didn’t like, but he simply got to nominate two others who can’t be filibustered.
What’s more, nothing changes. The next time Harry gets mad, he can threaten the nuclear option again, and Republicans will walk right up to the table to negotiate again – if they don’t trip over the tails between their legs.
What, really, would have been the big deal if Reid nuked the Senate? Obama is mostly going to get the type of assistants he wants anyway. Republicans could have just bided their time until 2017, when we may have a Republican president and a GOP Senate. And then they could confirm every last member of the Tea Party to a position in the administration.