The Facts Machine

"And I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide"

Monday, May 23, 2005

NUCLEAR CONSTITUTIONAL BYRD FREEDOM OPTION AVERTED

CNN is reporting that a deal has been reached in the nuclear option showdown.

Did FristChrist cave? Will Dobson be pissed? Details will follow soon, I'm sure.

UPDATE (6:30pm pacific): The details...
A bipartisan group of senators reached an agreement after days of talks to avert a showdown Tuesday over President Bush's judicial nominees, Sen. John McCain announced Monday evening.

Standing with a group of 13 other senators, the Arizona Republican told reporters the seven Republicans and seven Democrats had brokered a compromise.

"We have reached an agreement to try to avert a crisis in the United States Senate and pull the institution back from a precipice that would have had, in the view of all 14 of us, lasting impact, damaging impact on the institution," McCain said.

Under the deal, judicial nominees would only be filibustered "under extraordinary circumstances," McCain said.

McCain said the group of 14 pledged to vote for cloture -- an end to debate -- for three judicial nominees: Janice Rogers Brown, William Pryor and Priscilla Owen.

He said the group made no commitment to vote for or against cloture on two nominees, William Myers and Henry Saad.

"We will try to do everything in our power to prevent filibusters in the future," McCain said.

"This agreement is meant in the finest traditions of the Senate it was entered into: trust, respect, and mutual desire to see the institution of the Senate function in ways that protect the rights of the minority," he said.
Hehehe. So, of all the Republicans in the Senate, which one came out the cleanest and in the best light in this matter, AND got to publicly grandstand yet again? John McCain! That oughtta make the theocon wing of the party happy.

So the short version is that Bush gets three nominees confirmed (Owen, Brown and Pryor), with no guarantees about floor votes for the others. A potential Bush nominee for the Supreme Court is still completely subject to cloture rules.

In the long term, I think Frist and the Republican majority dodged a bullet, since they wouldn't be in power forever and they'd have to eat their own rule changes someday. In the short therm, though, I don't have any of the deals Harry Reid offered Fristy two weeks ago, but this resolution seems to be a worse deal for the GOP from a power standpoint than what was thrown around at that point.

Perhaps this is President Frist's "lurch to the center".

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