Republicans continue to make dire threats about what they’ll do if they gain the majority again. Apparently they believe such warnings of one-party rule make that prospect more appealing for American voters.
In the meantime, it‘s worth reviewing some of the numbers that led up to Reid’s decision.
Number of all Presidents’ nominees for district court judgeships filibustered between 1917 and 2008: 3.
Number of President Obama’s nominees for district court judgeships filibustered: 20.
Average number of times per year that the Senate invoked cloture, signaling a filibuster, between 1917 and 2000: 2.3.
Average number of times per year that the Senate invoked cloture under President George W. Bush: 17.5. (Over 40% of those events occurred in the 2007-08 Congress when Republicans were in the minority and filibustering on behalf of the President.)
Average number of times per year that the Senate has invoked clouture under President Obama: 27.
In October the Senate Republican minority filibustered the nomination of Rep. Mel Watt (D–Cal., shown above) to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The last time a sitting member of Congress’s appointment had been blocked by filibuster: 1843.