Even as the Senate ground out a compromise Tuesday on executive-branch appointments and Democrats backed away from the “nuclear option” of changing filibuster rules, Sen. Richard Blumenthal continued to urge his colleagues to do just that.
While welcoming the bipartisan dealmaking that freed up the nominations of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Gina McCarthy to head the EPA and three nominations to the National Labor Relations Board, Blumenthal still believes the filibuster, in all its forms, is a bad idea whose time has come and gone.
“The 60-vote threshhold that has been so abusively exploited should be eliminated,” the Connecticut Democrat said in an interview. “One of my first votes in the Senate was to eliminate it, and I continue to believe that it thwarts democracy and impedes majority rule that would habve provided common-sense gun violence measures and student loan rate relief. We had a majority on those issues and they would have passsed without the 60 vote threshhold,” Blumenthal added. “I think the public is rightly frustrated and angry at the paralysis.”
Meanwhile, he is encouraged by the progress that breaking the executive-appointment logjam represents.
“I have a very strong hope that this compromise will enable better cooperation on judicial nominees also, and in effect break the partisan gridlock,” he said. “We need to seize this moment of partisan cooperation and build on it. It offers a historic opportunity to move forward.”
Click here to listen to a press conference call with Blumenthal and activist groups on the issue Tuesday morning.