Senate Republicans are preparing to detonate a mini-nuke.
Angry over Democratic delaying tactics that have slowed the conveyor belt of Trump administration nominees plodding toward confirmation, the Senate majority is preparing to strong-arm a rules change that would reduce required debate time on judicial and executive branch appointees to two hours from as many as 30.
It would be the third time in six years that one party has used a procedural tactic, called the “nuclear option,” to rewrite the Senate rule book rather than do it the old-fashioned way by assembling a bipartisan consensus. The change might not be as drastic as the 2013 Democratic decision to abolish the 60-vote filibuster on most nominees or the 2017 decision by Republicans to extend that 51-vote confirmation threshold to the Supreme Court.
But Democrats say the consequences will still be significant, accelerating the nominating process for 80 percent of administration appointees, limiting the vetting of nominees and keeping the confirmation conveyor belt humming.