Harry Reid is very disappointed.
What brought on Harry's disappointment this time? A new tactic from Republicans. Call it a pre-filibuster.
All eight Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee are boycotting today’s vote by the panel on Gina McCarthy’s nomination to head EPA — and say the committee won't have enough members present to take action on the high-profile appointment.How creative of them. If only there was some way the Democratic majority could put and end to Republican procedural roadblocks and stall tactics on nominations. If only there was a way the Senate Majority Leader could break the filibuster on nominees and break the Republican wall of obstruction.
Of course, there is a way. A simple majority vote by the Senate could do just that, if Reid really wants to make it happen. It's time he stops with the empty threats to Republicans and start twisting some arms in the Democratic caucus to get that vote.
“You know why some of us are going to be in favor of reforming the rules of the Senate? It's because of abuses like this,” Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said during an Environment and Public Works Committee meeting that convened well after its scheduled 9:15 a.m. start time and was bereft of any GOP members.
“This has nothing to do with Gina McCarthy,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who charged that the boycott has more to do with a desire to obstruct EPA’s role in climate change regulations. “I think we understand where our colleagues are coming from — the question is what we do in response.” [...]
“Gina McCarthy is going to become the poster child of their obstructionism,” said Boxer, who revealed that she had already delayed Thursday's scheduled vote for three weeks at Republicans' request. “Gina McCarthy is a woman who deserves this promotion.”