The fallout from the Senate’s so-called nuclear option has largely dissipated.
And without much fallout, the fate of the once-revered process known as the legislative filibuster faces its greatest peril in more than a century.
Senate Republicans are using a complex parliamentary move this week to unilaterally change the rules to make it easier to confirm lower-level nominees to the federal courts and agencies.
It will mark the third time in less than six years that the majority party pulled the trigger on this controversial procedure, breaking long-standing customs requiring a two-thirds majority to alter Senate rules and procedures.
Democrats went first, in fall 2013, followed by Republicans in April 2017 and now the GOP again. What was once considered so unthinkable that Senate elders warned of a “nuclear winter” to follow has turned into an almost biennial move designed to thwart minority-party rights.