April 28, 2005
If the Democrats happen to accept, the Republican majority in the Senate will have the opportunity it wants - a straight up or down vote on nominees. If they refuse - which I'm sure they will - then they have nakedly revealed their true intention which is not the ability to debate but merely the power to obstruct and shoot down any nominees that the Liberal special interest groups find objectionable.
a) Guaranteed up-or-down votes on nominations for Circuit Courts of Appeals and Supreme Court nominees.
b) Guaranteed debate time of up to 100 hours for those nominees.
c) Guaranteed reporting of nominees from the Senate Judiciary committee to the Senate floor.
d) Guaranteed protection of the legislative filibuster.
Republicans say the deal would address the grievances of both parties in the last decade, that is, that nominees of both parties were not allowed up-or-down votes on the Senate floor. But Democrats are sure to reject the offer unless it were accompanied by a GOP offer to withdraw some or all of the president's currently filibustered nominees, and Republican sources tell National Review that Frist will not give any ground on any of those current nominees.
This seems coordinated to segue into Bush's press conference tonight. It'll give the President the opportunity to reiterate the offer, spell out how reasonable it is to the American people and make the Democrats look petty. Also, it seems pretty Rove-like to tee this one up heading into the weekend news cycle as the dominant story. Excellent. I think we could probably expect a move on the filibuster rule on Monday or Tuesday.
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