Mitch McConnell Moves to Sidestep Democrats on Trump’s Judge Picks

US President Donald Trump speaks alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R), as they hold a meeting about tax reform in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, September 5, 2017.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump. SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-K.Y.) filed a procedural motion on Thursday to expedite the amount of time it would take to confirm President Donald Trump’s nominees for federal district courts and executive branch positions.

Appearing on the Senate floor on Thursday, McConnell accused Democrats of “unprecedented obstruction” over the appointment of Trump’s nominees.

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“The status quo is unsustainable for the Senate,” said the Senate majority leader. “It’s unfair to this president and the future presidents of either party. It cannot stand.”

Under the new resolution, the time between the final vote and when the Senate votes to invoke closure on a nominee would be reduced by roughly a day (28 hours). Should the resolution fail to garner the required 60 votes needed to pass, Republicans have threatened to set a new Senate precedent—a move which has alarmed Democrats.

“Sen. McConnell’s approach has always been to manipulate Senate rules when it helps him and then change Senate rules when the tables turn; this is just another step in his effort to limit the rights of the minority and cede authority to the administration,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told The Hill in a statement.

While most Republicans lawmakers have indicated they are willing to support McConnell, three senators—two of which face reelection in blue states—said they remain decided. Mitch McConnell Moves to Sidestep Democrats on Trump’s Judge Picks