This afternoon, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) essentially shut down the Senate floor “by forcing the Senate clerk to read aloud the entire 500 page global warming bill.” McConnell alleged that the Democratic leadership “refused to honor its commitments” and push through a significant number of judicial nominees.
Jim Manley, spokesman to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NY) has responded to McConnell:
Senator Reid pledged a good-faith effort to have the Senate consider three court of appeals nominees before the Memorial Day recess, with the explicit caveat that achieving that goal depended on Republican cooperation. The Senate did, in fact, confirm Virginia Supreme Court Judge Steven Agee to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in May, and Chairman Leahy expedited Judiciary Committee consideration of two nominees to Michigan seats on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. These nominations were the result of many years of negotiation between the White House and the Michigan Senators.
Unfortunately, Republicans on the Judiciary Committee objected to expedited consideration of the Michigan nominees. As a result, it was impossible to have the Senate consider these two additional nominees before the recess, despite Senator Reid’s best efforts.