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

McConnell said Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidSenate gets deal to speed up Puerto Rico bill Clinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream Dems: Keep gun research ban out of spending bills 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.

ADVERTISEMENT
Sens. John BarrassoJohn BarrassoGOP senator: Obama ‘believes he is above the law’ Republican senator expects Trump will 'embrace' GOP platform Sunday shows preview: Bernie soldiers on MORE (R-Wyo.), Roy BluntRoy BluntOvernight Healthcare: Sanders, Clinton ally jockey for health gavel Overnight Tech: Facebook vexes publishers | Reverse auction bidding ends | Clinton recruits in SF Senate Dems pledge to keep fighting over Zika MORE (R-Mo.) and Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyPollster: Clinton leads in 5 battlegrounds Overnight Tech: Judiciary leaders question internet transition plan | Clinton to talk tech policy | Snowden's robot | Trump's big digital push Dozens of senators push EPA for higher ethanol mandate 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.

More in Senate races

Dem rival knocks GOP senator over 'terror gun loophole'

Read more »