WASHINGTON – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after a minority of Senators filibustered the nomination of Cornelia Pillard to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. In recent weeks, the Republican minority has also filibustered the nominations of Mel Watt to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency and Patricia Millett to sit on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Three times in as many weeks, a minority of Senators has blocked a well-qualified nominee by abusing the Senate rules. This obstruction is outrageous. In baseball, it’s three strikes and you’re out. Republicans have struck out when it comes to keeping their promises on nominees. In January the Minority Leader promised to return to the ‘norms and traditions’ of the U.S. Senate on nominations, which is to hold an up and down vote with rare exceptions. Given that shattered promise, a majority of Senators must change the rules to restore the Senate to its historic role.”