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Judicial Nominations

Sen. Harry Reid

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Mr. President, yesterday I filed cloture on 17 consensus judicial nominations. I have worked with the Republicans for months to find a way forward for a timely confirmation for many of these nominees, including some who have been waiting for up-or-down votes since October. Yesterday I had a visual aid--and I will show it during the caucus today--to show what happened in the Clinton years, the Bush years, and the Obama years. It is so clear what has happened. And it really doesn't fully represent what happened because in the Clinton years we had dozens and dozens of nominees who were what we called pocket-vetoed--they just wouldn't hold hearings on them. But with the length of time the judges were reported out of committee--Clinton, a few days; Bush, a few days; and, of course, now we are talking about many months with the Obama nominations--that is not fair. They should all be entitled to an up-or-down vote, especially when they came out of the committee so overwhelmingly, with rare exception. There is no reason we should eat up even 1 day of precious time the Senate has to pass these commonsense measures when we can do it so quickly.

President Obama's judicial nominees have waited five or six times longer than President Bush's nominations for confirmation, and that time has increased and is not going down. The Senate once confirmed 18 of President Bush's nominations in a single day. There is no justification for obstruction on matters that ought to be routine. There is too much to do. The Senate simply doesn't have the luxury to waste any more time.

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