Reid Goes Ballistic With 'Nuclear Option' Threat

Chris Frates and Shane Goldmacher
National Journal

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday issued an ultimatum to Republicans: allow an up-or-down vote on President Obama's executive nominations or he'll go "nuclear."

If Republicans try to filibuster the seven nominees the Senate is scheduled to vote on Tuesday, Reid said he'll change the Senate rules to allow them to pass with a simple majority vote, the so-called nuclear option.

If Republicans want to avoid that scenario, which they argue will destroy the Senate, Reid offered them a "simple solution."

"If the sky's falling, and they think it's falling, let them stop the filibusters on the seven I filed cloture on," Reid told reporters after a speech at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Reid left no wiggle room ahead of a rare bipartisan meeting this afternoon among Republican and Democratic senators to discuss tomorrow's votes.

National Journal's Shane Goldmacher was also in attendance at Reid's speech, and offered his observations: