SHOWDOWN

McConnell Triggers ‘Nuclear Option’ After Dems Filibuster Gorsuch

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell triggered the “nuclear option” on Thursday, changing the rules of the Senate to allow for Neil Gorsuch to be confirmed to the Supreme Court. Senate Democrats successfully filibustered Gorsuch’s nomination earlier Thursday, garnering the 41 votes necessary to vote against cloture, or the ending of debate on the nomination. Fifty-five senators voted in favor of ending debate, and 45 against. Current Senate rules state that 60 votes are required in order to advance a Supreme Court nomination. The “nuclear option” will change the rules to allow the nomination to go to a final floor vote with a simple majority of 51 votes, rather than 60.