"A Functional Senate Cannot Be an Occasional Principle? ? Senate Dems Must Re-Open Rules Reform

Washington, DC – In the U.S. Senate today, Republicans filibustered the nomination of Patricia Millett, the first of three nominees to fill existing vacancies on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, as well as the nomination of Rep. Mel Watt to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

The Fix the Senate Now coalition released the following statement in response

“There they go again. After a step forward on executive branch nominees this summer, Senate Republicans are again reverting to their unacceptable, obstructionist ways. 

“The qualifications of DC Circuit nominee Patricia Millett and her potential colleagues are unassailable. But Senate Republicans are so insistent to deny President Obama his constitutional authority to fill three outstanding judicial vacancies that they are resorting to ridiculous claims. Like Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, we reject the notion that the D.C. Circuit caseload is insufficient to justify new confirmations. And the ‘court packing’ charges are so self-evidently ridiculous that they barely deserve a response. Regarding Rep. Mel Watt, Republicans should admit that they don’t like FHFA and Rep. Watt’s record of siding with consumers ahead of banking interests, instead of pretending he was unqualified (See here for an overview of Rep. Watt’s stellar qualifications).

“The lessons over this summer’s Senate rules battle should be clear. As Senate Majority Leader Reid pledged, Democrats must be prepared to change the Senate rules should Republicans continue to block these qualified nominees from receiving an up-or-down vote. If Republicans continue with their obstruction, Senator Reid must live up to his threat to change the Senate rules.

“Functional government and an operational U.S. Senate cannot be an occasional principle.” 

For more information or to book leaders from the Fix the Senate Now coalition, contact Michael Earls at media@fixthesenatenow.org