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November 21, 2013
You can't say they weren't warned. Since President Obama's election in 2008, Republicans in the Senate have seemingly taken special pleasure in blocking his nominees, both judicial and to administrative posts. After the GOP filibustered three well-qualified nominees to the District of Columbia appeals court this year, Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had had enough. Deploying the so-called nuclear option, Democrats changed the rules so that Senate confirmations of presidential appointments -- except for Supreme Court justices -- will proceed by a simple majority vote.
The beaten Republicans were left to cry over spilled milk. "You may regret it a lot sooner than you think," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) whined after the vote. Of course, that depends on Republicans retaking the Senate someday.
Above, Reid, center, with Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), left, and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) after the Senate voted to change the filibuster rules.