Don't Reward Obstruction: U.S. Senate Should Do Its Job & Vote on Qualified Nominees Before Leaving

Washington, DC – After last November’s sensible Senate reforms – spurred by Republicans’ mass-blockade of qualified nominees – the Senate GOP has tried to waste the maximum amount of Senate time possible to slow Senate progress. The extent of their commitment to time-wasting is revealed by the fact that nearly three dozen nominations have been subject to cloture votes or reconsidered votes since last November – only to then be unanimously confirmed by the Senate.

Senate Democrats should not reward this persistent obstruction by ending the 113th Congress before its work is done, the Fix the Senate Now coalition said today. This is especially important given the record number of approximately 130 nominees still pending on the Executive Calendar.  Instead, the U.S. Senate should stay in session and vote on as many qualified nominees as possible before heading home for the holidays.

Last week, 33 organizations signed onto a letter from Fix the Senate Now that noted how many nominees “have been waiting months in limbo – some for years – awaiting votes” and that the President would need “to start the process of re-nominating all these individuals again – a waste of time and resources for a new Congress and President” if the Senate does not deliver votes before the end of this 113th Congress.

As Danny Vinik of The New Republic writes today, “Lawmakers will likely object to working through the holidays. If Reid must give them a couple of days off around Christmas and New Year’s, to appease them, he should do so. But it is too important for the functioning of the executive branch and the makeup of the courts to spend the entire time on holiday.”

For more information or to interview leaders from the Fix the Senate Now coalition, contact Michael Earls at