In order to bypass Democrats’ opposition, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., invoked the so-called “nuclear option,” which would allow him to change Senate precedent on voting on Supreme Court cloture votes from a 60-vote threshold to a simple majority of 51 votes. The Senate will hold a vote shortly.
Republicans on their own did not have enough votes to end the floor debate on Gorsuch’s nomination, a move known as cloture, under the current rules requiring 60 votes. The first Senate vote to end debate (cloture) on Gorsuch’s nomination failed with a vote of 55-45.
They accuse Democrats of unfairly obstructing a qualified jurist, while Democrats argue that Gorsuch is too radical for the court.
“One way or the other, we will confirm Judge Gorsuch,” McConnell told reporters Tuesday.
Today on the Senate floor, Sen. McConnell made a last plea to his colleagues not to force him to trigger the “nuclear option.”