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senate Bill S. Res. 50

Should the Senate Shorten Debate for Lower Tier Judicial & Executive Branch Nominees?

Argument in favor

The Senate shouldn’t spend 30 hours debating the nomination of a district court judge or the Under Secretary of Transportation like it does a Supreme Court justice or Cabinet official. It makes sense to shorten debate for such nominees to two hours so the Senate can spend more time on weightier issues.

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04/02/2019
Yes! This should have been done in early January. What are you waiting for? Crush Schumer and the America hating democrat party.
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SneakyPete's Opinion
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04/03/2019
YES...... IT GOES WITH SAVING YES...... THE SHORTER THE BETTER. The Senate shouldn’t spend 30 hours debating the nomination of a district court judge or the Under Secretary of Transportation like it does a Supreme Court justice or Cabinet official. It makes sense to shorten debate for such nominees to two hours so the Senate can spend more time on weightier issues. SneakyPete....... 👍🏻👍🏻Confirm👍🏻👍🏻. 4*3*19.......
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Dennis's Opinion
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04/03/2019
They need to shorten the amount of time they waste.
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Argument opposed

The Senate’s rules are in place to ensure that it remains the world’s most deliberative body, and shortening the amount of debate for judicial and executive nominees would irrevocably alter that. While there may have been bipartisan agreement on this issue four years ago, there isn’t anymore.

OlderNWiser's Opinion
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03/29/2019
Mitch McConnell is evil personified. The clear attempts by many of the Republican Party in Washington DC to turn our beautiful country into a banana dictatorship terrify me. The contempt and hatred for those who are not the wealthy -1% is palpable and very dangerous. So do I want him to circumvent any feedback, prevent any resolution of conflict, and impose his will on all of us? No. What is your thinking about this?
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Kodiwodi's Opinion
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04/02/2019
Mitch McConnell presents an excellent argument for why term limits are so exceptionally important in cleaning up our government. There can be no more Mitch’s in our future.
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Joan's Opinion
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03/31/2019
Republicans are trying to shorten debate so that they can ram through their nominees with any scrutiny. As we have clearly seen, the nominees of this pathetic administration for all positions are ill-qualified and usually have conflicts on interest. Debate and examination of the qualifications should be robust. It should not be reduced. If anything it should be expanded!
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simple resolution Progress


  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Rules and Administration
    IntroducedFebruary 6th, 2019

What is Senate Bill S. Res. 50?

This resolution would change Senate rules to limit post-cloture debate for certain judicial and executive branch nominees. It would limit post-cloture debate to two hours for nominees to district court judgeships and non-Cabinet-level executive branch positions. Nominees to the Supreme Court, circuit courts, the Cabinet, and certain boards would still face the standard 30 hours of post-cloture debate that applies to legislation.

As a simple resolution that modifies the Senate's rules and procedures, this legislation wouldn't advance beyond the Senate if passed.

Impact

Nominees to circuit or district courts, or mid-level executive branch posts; and the Senate.

Cost of Senate Bill S. Res. 50

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) reintroduced this resolution from the 115th Congress to update the Senate rules for most Senate-confirmed nominees and thereby give President Trump greater ability to confirm his nominees. After this resolution passed the Senate Rules and Administration Committee this Congress, Sen. Lankford said:

“I am pleased to see our resolution pass the Rules Committee today. In the past, every President was essentially able to select their staff and begin serving the American people right after inauguration—until President Trump. In the past two years, Democrats have slowed the confirmation of more than 100 nominees, which has created a new low standard for how all future presidents will be treated. If we do not update our rules now, the Senate will continue down a new path of needless delays and even greater inefficiency. This rule update resolution represents an idea that anyone in the Senate, current or future, should be able to support: a functional, working Senate. This resolution would permanently end the needless time delays in the Senate confirmation process, while protecting extended debate time for high-level nominees. Post-cloture debate time should be used for debate, not meaningless delay on an empty Senate floor. I hope my colleagues see the importance of permanently correcting the Senate rules for nominations and will join us as we try to get the Senate back to work.”

Last Congress, Sen. Lankford (R-OK) proposed this variation on a rule enacted by then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to shorten the amount of time the Senate spends debating mid-level judicial and executive nominations. He explained his rationale on “The Hugh Hewitt Show”:

“The Senate can only do one thing at a time. So if you’ve got 30 hours of debate on a nominee that’s going to pass, because when they come out of committee, we have the votes to pass them. They will pass. If you clog it up with 30 hours of debate for that person, that means you can’t debate other tax reform, you can’t move on legislation, you can’t work on regulatory issues, you can’t work on anything else, because you’re clogged up on that one. There was a bipartisan agreement on a rule very similar to this in 2013 when Harry Reid was there, to be able to work the process through, I’m invoking that to see if we can get 60 votes on it.”

Cosponsoring Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO) adds that this bill addresses "unacceptable" obstruction by Senate Democrats

"Senate Democrats have abused the rules to the point where the president can’t put his team in place and the Senate can’t do its work. The degree of obstruction we’ve seen during the first two years of the Trump Administration is totally unacceptable. This resolution will expedite the confirmation process by building on rules changes that were in place during the 113th Congress and widely supported on both sides of the aisle. I hope to see it voted on by the full Senate quickly so we can end the delay tactics and do the job the American people expect us to do.”

In the current Congress, this bill passed the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration by a 10-9 vote  with the support of one cosponsor, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO). Last Congress, it passed the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration with the support of four Republican cosponsors.


Of Note: For the previous three presidents, there were an average of eight cloture votes on nominations in the first two years of each president’s term. In the first two years of the Trump administration, cloture was filed on 148 of President Trump’s nominees (62 Judicial and 86 Executive) in the 115th Congress, and the Senate was forced to hold 128 cloture votes. If an additional cloture vote is required on each nominee, it could take over 2,000 days (almost 5.5 years) just for a president’s staff to be confirmed and judicial branch vacancies to be filled.  


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: U.S. Senate / Public Domain)

AKA

A resolution improving procedures for the consideration of nominations in the Senate.

Official Title

A resolution improving procedures for the consideration of nominations in the Senate.

    Yes! This should have been done in early January. What are you waiting for? Crush Schumer and the America hating democrat party.
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    Mitch McConnell is evil personified. The clear attempts by many of the Republican Party in Washington DC to turn our beautiful country into a banana dictatorship terrify me. The contempt and hatred for those who are not the wealthy -1% is palpable and very dangerous. So do I want him to circumvent any feedback, prevent any resolution of conflict, and impose his will on all of us? No. What is your thinking about this?
    Like (78)
    Follow
    Share
    Mitch McConnell presents an excellent argument for why term limits are so exceptionally important in cleaning up our government. There can be no more Mitch’s in our future.
    Like (41)
    Follow
    Share
    Republicans are trying to shorten debate so that they can ram through their nominees with any scrutiny. As we have clearly seen, the nominees of this pathetic administration for all positions are ill-qualified and usually have conflicts on interest. Debate and examination of the qualifications should be robust. It should not be reduced. If anything it should be expanded!
    Like (38)
    Follow
    Share
    Republicans are full steam ahead packing the courts with unqualified , ideological picks. Changing the rules to speed up the process of loading our government with Trump sycophants and unqualified choices is a spit in the face to the American people.
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    How much lower ? They are already sending people who have never set foot in a courtroom
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    Absolutely not! We need to have the full story on the récord about each candidate!
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    Absolutely not! The Senate shouldn’t act as a rubber stamp for any President’s nominees especially not this one! The damage that this President is doing to our judiciary is going to have long-term effects that will endure long before Trump is out of the White House! There needs to be a long hard debate on every person that the President puts forward!
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    YES...... IT GOES WITH SAVING YES...... THE SHORTER THE BETTER. The Senate shouldn’t spend 30 hours debating the nomination of a district court judge or the Under Secretary of Transportation like it does a Supreme Court justice or Cabinet official. It makes sense to shorten debate for such nominees to two hours so the Senate can spend more time on weightier issues. SneakyPete....... 👍🏻👍🏻Confirm👍🏻👍🏻. 4*3*19.......
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    They need to shorten the amount of time they waste.
    Like (10)
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    Yes. Non partisan answer here. Both parties play gamesmanship with these positions and it’s not good for the country.
    Like (9)
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    Tell Senator McConnell to uphold the oath he made to defend the United States Construction when he became a Senator.
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    Ditch Mitch, he is destroying democracy.
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    No, debate is healthy and insightful as long as both parties keep an open mind. Things like this should never be rushed like the Kavanaugh situation. Stop voting on party lines and start putting the country 1st.
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    This is crazy. All federal judges are lifetime appointments. They need to be vetted properly. To rush anyone through is a huge mistake.
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    This is the pot calling the kettle black. Republicans started this during Obama's second term when they used this same rule to block his Supreme Court nominees, what is good for the goose is good for the gander.
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    It’s a waste of time and money.
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    I don’t like it, but the Administration is facing unprecedented obstruction from the new Obstructionist Democratic Party of the 21st Century. They’re causing great damage to our Nation.
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    Anything that can slow the wheels of government is a good idea. It’s our one protection against emotional mob rule.
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    No! Do not shorten debate time. No! Every l appointment requires serious and careful consideration and plenty of time must be allocated for this process.
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