Washington, DC – This summer, with the threat of Senate rules reform on the table, the Senate advanced the stalled confirmations of seven qualified executive branch nominees. One of the Republican Senators who helped forge this summer’s agreement was Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
At the time, Sen. Graham noted that holding nominees hostage due to unrelated issues was “wrong.” Now, in just three short months, Senator Graham has flipped on this principle, pledging to abuse the rules and grind the Senate to a halt until his demands are met.
- Sen. Lindsey Graham, July 2013: “Cordray was being filibustered because we don’t like the law…That’s not a reason to deny someone their appointment. We were wrong.”
- Sen. Lindsey Graham, October 2013: “I’m going to block every appointment in the United States Senate until the survivors are being made available to the Congress.”
As we noted at the time of July’s agreement over executive branch nominees, the real test of a functional Senate would come on nominations outside the scope of that agreement. This week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is planning to file cloture on a number of long stalled nominations, including one of the three nominees to vacant seats on the D.C. Circuit.
Due to the flip-flop of Sen. Graham – and the principle that Sen. Graham himself articulated in July – Sen. Reid and supporters of a basic and functional U.S. Senate should keep rules reform on the table.