McConnell accuses Dems of using a 'manufactured crisis' to change the rules

McConnell said Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidCongress departs for recess until after Election Day How Congress averted a shutdown Congress steamrolls Obama's veto MORE (D-Nev.) is rumored to be considering the “nuclear option” — where the majority party can vote to change the rules during a congressional session, weakening minority rights.

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Sens. John BarrassoJohn BarrassoSenators express 'grave concerns' about ObamaCare 'bailout' GOP pressures Kerry on Russia's use of Iranian airbase Tribes open new front in fight over pipelines MORE (R-Wyo.), Roy BluntRoy BluntSenate rivals gear up for debates Super PAC hits Dem Senate candidate with ad in tightening Missouri race The Trail 2016: Presidential politics and policing MORE (R-Mo.) and Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleySenate passes bill to preserve sexual assault kits Grassley accuses Reid of 'pure unfiltered partisanship' Overnight Healthcare: Zika funding nears finish line | House expected to approve spending bill tonight | New pledge to push medical cures bill MORE (R-Iowa) joined McConnell in this call Wednesday morning.

“The nuclear option would irreparably change this institution,” Barrasso said.

At the beginning of the 113th Congress, Reid and McConnell negotiated a minor rule change in order to avoid Reid’s threat of a nuclear option. In return, Republicans were not supposed to oppose presidential nominees unless there were “extraordinary” circumstances.

“It’s very difficult to reach agreements in the United States Senate, but when you reach an agreement, particularly if they’re by the leaders of the Senate, a person’s word is their bond, and that bond ought to be kept,” Grassley said. “When a United States senator reaches an agreement and gives his word, that should mean something around here.”

Democrats have complained that Republicans have blocked and delayed several of President Obama’s nominees to the D.C. Court and Cabinet secretaries.