Sen. Alexander Expresses GOP Anger Over Filibuster Rules Change
WASHINGTON (AP/WMOT) — Democrats are ready to propel another one of President Barack Obama's court picks through the Senate, now that outnumbered Republicans have less power to block nominees.
The Senate plans Wednesday to consider Obama's choice of Cornelia Pillard to join the influential U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
Her nomination was freed for a vote after Democrats forced a change last month in filibusters, making it harder for the Senate minority Republicans to use procedural delays to sink most nominees.
Tennessee Republican Senator Lamar Alexander pounded the podium as he reacted to the rules change on the floor of the senate.
“If the majority in the senate can change the rules at any time, there are no rules... Every child knows that there have to be rules to the game. So I have this question, ‘How am I, and how are other senators supposed to serve in a United States Senate with no rules?’”
Using the new rules, the Senate approved two of Obama's top selections Tuesday. Patricia Millett was confirmed for another vacancy on the D.C. Circuit, and Rep. Mel Watt was confirmed to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency.