Senate Republicans voted to change the rules of the U.S. Senate to allow the filibuster of Neil Gorsuch to be broken with a simple majority vote, The New York Times reports.
According to the Times, the so-called “nuclear option” rule will seriously change the way the Senate runs. Democrats had decided to filibuster Gorsuch, meaning they were blocking his confirmation, and under the original rules of the Senate, Republicans would have needed 60 votes to break the filibuster. They were a few votes short. So they decided to change the game so they could still win.
The change means that all presidential nominees for executive branch positions and federal courts now only need a simple majority vote, or 51 votes out of 100, to be confirmed by senators, The Washington Post reports. This will theoretically make it a lot easier for Republicans, who currently hold 52 seats in the Senate, to confirm their favored nominees.
The controversial rule change will also affect future Supreme Court nominations as well, which some see as potentially eroding minority-party input in the Senate.
“I fear that someday we will regret what we are about to do. In fact, I am confident we will,” Republican Senator John McCain said. Okay, McCain—So why did you do it, then?
Gorsuch’s final confirmation vote will occur on Friday, BBC News reported. He will only need the majority of votes in order to be confirmed.