How power is excercised in george

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So what is the 'nuclear option' in the Senate? We run through the details.

How power is excercised in george

Senate chamber in Now that President Donald Trump has tapped Neil Gorsuch to fill an open seat on the Supreme Court, the Senate is once again careening toward a showdown over "the nuclear option," an obscure but important rule that governs how the chamber conducts its business.

Under current Senate rules, a minority of senators -- indeed, as few as one -- can filibuster, or hold up, a Supreme Court nomination, effectively requiring 60 votes for a motion to end debate and move on to the nomination itself.

Since the Republicans currently hold 52 Senate seatsit means the GOP needs eight Democrats simply to schedule a final vote.

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After the vote threshold is reached, the nomination itself needs only 51 votes to pass. Given the degree of partisan polarization in the Capitol and in the country today, most observers expect it will be hard for Republicans to secure the backing of eight Democrats. So a procedural shortcut known as the "nuclear option" stands as an alluring alternative, since it would allow Senate Republicans to sidestep the vote threshold for Supreme Court nominations.

And just to be clear, the use of "nuclear" here is only metaphorical. No actual nuclear weapons are involved. How does the Senate work? Inthe Senate voted to empower a supermajority of 67 to cut off a filibuster and move on to other business, using a motion known as "cloture.

How power is excercised in george

Still, 60 votes is a significant hurdle for a chamber that has not often had one party win that many seats.

In recent years, the two parties have become more polarized, and more willing to filibuster, even on matters that had previously been treated as routine. That has put pressure on Senate leaders to get rid of the longstanding supermajority hurdle or else face gridlock -- especially for such high-stakes topics as nominations.

Detractors have warned that such important matters were better dealt with using the higher degree of consensus conveyed through a vote supermajority. How would senators deploy the nuclear option?

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The mechanics of the nuclear option are complex even by the standards of parliamentary maneuvers, requiring a precise series of carefully choreographed steps. The gist, though, is that the majority party would move to change the supermajority rule through a series of votes that require only a simple majority.

At various points in recent years, one Senate leader or another has threatened to pull the nuclear trigger, but a bipartisan coalition managed to unite to defuse the situation -- until matters came to a head on Nov. What happened on Nov. Reid limited the scope of his maneuver to appointments below the level of Supreme Court justice; for the Supreme Court, traditional filibuster and cloture rules would still apply.

The fact that Reid left that exception is what brought us to the current faceoff. How big a deal would it be if McConnell implements the nuclear option?Watch video · The amendment goes on to state that “The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.” Reconstruction.

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