A nuclear compromise?

Roll Call says a group of senators are near a deal to avert a showdown over Bush's judicial nominees.


Tim Grieve
May 9, 2005 8:08PM (UTC)

When Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel appeared on ABC's "This Week" Sunday, he wondered whether there weren't a few "moderately intelligent" senators who could come up with a way to avert the nuclear option.

Maybe there are. While the hard-core partisans on each side continue to fan the flames over the filibuster -- in a radio appearance today with Gary Bauer and Tony Perkins, James Dobson said that the ground in Washington "is almost too hot to walk on" and that "bullets are flying overhead" -- a dozen senators in the middle are close to a compromise on Bush's judicial nominees, Roll Call reports.

Advertisement:

If the deal comes together, a handful of senators from each party would sign a letter of understanding on judicial nominees. The Republican signatories would agree to vote against the nuclear option; the Democrats would agree to allow floor votes on four of the seven stalled judicial nominees and to vote in favor of cloture for all future Bush judicial nominees -- including Supreme Court picks -- except in "extreme circumstances."

It's not unlike an offer Harry Reid made and Bill Frist rejected a couple of weeks ago. But the senators working on the deal -- a group that apparently includes Trent Lott, Ben Nelson and Mark Pryor -- don't need Reid or Frist to get something done. With the vote count on both the nuclear option and the filibusters themselves so close, a handful of defectors from either side could undercut whatever power their party's leaders have, and the nuclear option could disappear without an explosion.


Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

MORE FROM Tim Grieve

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

War Room

BROWSE SALON.COM
COMPLETELY AD FREE,
FOR THE NEXT HOUR

Read Now, Pay Later - no upfront
registration for 1-Hour Access

Click Here
7-Day Access and Monthly
Subscriptions also available
No tracking or personal data collection
beyond name and email address

•••





Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •