12:44pm

Wed March 14, 2012
Parties Bickering Over Pace of Confirmations

Lamar Alexander Chastises Majority Leader Reid

WASHINGTON (AP/WMOT) — Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander is firing back at Majority Leader Harry Reid over comments the Democrat made concerning a Republican filibuster.

Republicans are holding up 17 Obama Administration  judicial nominations.  Reid is hoping to pull together the 60 votes he needs to limit debate on the appointments and force a vote.

The Majority Leader says he’s acting in response to the slow pace of confirmations of Obama's picks for the federal bench. He said Republicans should end the delays immediately to ease the backlog of cases in federal courts.

Speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday, Alexander said Republicans aren’t sure what all the fuss is about.

“In the first two years of President Obama’s Administration, he nominated 78 district judges and 76 of those judges were confirmed. It’s not a high constitutional matter. It’s not even a high principle. It’s not even a big disagreement. It’s a little disagreement.”

Republicans argue the pace is consistent with Democratic approvals of former President George W. Bush's nominees. They also say Obama has been slow to nominate people to fill judicial vacancies.