Republicans have a lot to be frustrated about in terms of Senator Ted Cruz’s behavior. Just as the Senate body was convening Friday evening, Cruz and his cohort Senator Mike Lee launched a series of procedural hurdles in a bid to force the Senate to take up the issue of President Obama’s extra-constitutional amnesty plan.Senator Reid used the addition window the senators created to bring up the nomination of two controversial nominees that face stiff GOP opposition: Anthony Blinken for Deputy Secretary of State, and Sarah Saldaña to head up Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Reid previously changed Senate rules governing the filibuster of nominees to have a 30 hour confirmation process followed by an up or down vote. The rules changes apply to all but Supreme Court nominees. This effectively allows the Senate to push through the president’s nominees with ease. However, the clock had run out on getting these nominees a confirmation hearing before the GOP takes over the Senate next month. That changed when Cruz and Lee invoked their last minute salvo at the president’s immigration plan. Their actions were completely symbolic as the measure stood no chance of passing the Democrat-led Senate. However, it did allow Reid to get enough time to bring start up the nominee process for the controversial nominees. Saldaña believes the president’s unilateral amnesty plan is legal which is why the GOP opposes her nomination. Blinken supported the drawdown of forces in Iraq which is largely criticized for creating the power vacuum that gave rise to ISIS.
Reid actions gave him one last victory before he turns over the gavel to Mitch McConnell. It also threw egg on Cruz and Lee’s faces as their symbolic antics backfired on their party. This story is likely still developing and could have many more twists and turns, I think it could make for some great plot points for one of Tom Rothman’s new TV programs.