Monday, April 25, 2005

GOP finds a spine on Judges?

Politics: Maybe.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Republicans have the votes to ban any more Democratic procedural roadblocks against President Bush's judicial nominees, a top Republican said on Sunday. A spokesman for Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada promptly questioned the claim, while another Democrat, Sen. Joseph Biden (news, bio, voting record) of Delaware, floated a possible compromise to avert a fight that could bring the Senate to a near halt. ...."There's no doubt in my mind, and I'm a pretty good counter of votes ... that we have the votes we need," Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell of Kentucky told CBS's "Face the Nation." Sen. Christopher Dodd (news, bio, voting record), a Connecticut Democrat appearing with McConnell, said conservative Republicans including former Senate leader Bob Dole "have urged the Republican leadership today to think long and hard about doing what they want to do." Democrats blocked 10 of Bush's judicial nominees during his first term while they helped confirm about 200 others. Bush renominated seven of the filibustered nominees after winning re-election in November. Biden, appearing on ABC's "This Week," said, "I think we should compromise and say to them that we're willing to -- of the seven judges -- we'll let a number of them go through, the two most extreme not go through and put off this vote" to end the filibuster.
Couple of ways to look at this, the GOP leadership/admin finally got some guts after realizing how bad the party looked after the Bolton debacle led by Voinovich or they are bluffing. The Democrats while talking of shutting down the Senate realize they can't be backed into a corner like this, so they come up with a weak compromise given by Biden. Given that Biden actually said it, maybe the GOP has the votes, but they cannot take Biden or any democrats deal. It would show that the GOP has a numerical but ineffective majority that cannot even govern itself as a unit and get their base angry at them.

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