By Amanda Becker and Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Republican-led U.S. Senate on Wednesday changed its procedures to speed up the confirmation of President Donald Trump's nominees for some lower court judgeships and sub-Cabinet level positions. The move to shorten debate on such nominees from 30 hours to two hours was resisted by Democrats but they could not block it because Republicans hold 53 seats in the 100-seat chamber. Senator Mitch McConnell used his powers as majority leader to make the change, which will set a precedent that will apply to district court judges, the lowest rung of the judiciary, but not vacancies in the Supreme Court and federal appeals courts. The Senate has historically provided greater protection for whichever party is in the minority than the 435-seat House of Representatives by allowing longer debating time before votes and requiring 60 yes votes for most approvals. Those conventions have been whittled away by both Democrats and Republicans in recent years as the mood in Washington has become more and more polarized, however, with each party accusing the other of misusing the rules. Reducing the time for debate will "begin to unwind this partisan paralysis, for the good of the Senate," McConnell said on Wednesday. Democrats slammed the procedural change. "At a time when leader McConnell brags about confirming more judges than anyone has done in a very long time, he feels the need to invoke the terribly destructive and disproportionate procedure," Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor. Fifty-three district court nominees have been confirmed during Trump's first two years in office against 44 confirmed at the same point in the presidency of Democratic President Barack Obama. During Obama's presidency, Senate Democrats took steps to more easily win approval of his nominations by requiring only a simple-majority vote for administration posts and judges other than Supreme Court nominees. They also limited debate to two hours, but that move expired at the end of that Congress after Democrats lost control of the Senate in the 2014 elections. In 2017, McConnell expanded the simple majority procedure to include Supreme Court confirmations in order to overcome Democratic opposition to Trump's first nominee, Neil Gorsuch. The fight over the confirmation of federal judges has been raging for years, as divisive issues before the courts include hot-button issues like abortion, the death penalty and money in politics. Republicans are hoping that they can confirm as many of Trump's conservative picks as possible while they control the Senate and White House. Democrats were enraged in 2016 when McConnell refused to hold confirmation hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland, Obama's pick to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. At the time, McConnell said that choice should be made by whoever won the November 2016 presidential election. Since he became president in January 2017, Trump has won confirmation of 37 appeals court judges, compared to 55 appeals court judge confirmations during Obama's entire eight years. Such confirmation votes would not be subject to Wednesday's procedural change. (Click here to see a graphic showing Trump's appeals court appointments: https://tmsnrt.rs/2Vxf9tL https://tmsnrt.rs/2Vxf9tL)) (Reporting By Amanda Becker and Richard Cowan; additional reporting by Susan Cornwell and Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)
Donald Trump says Mitch McConnell has a 'death wish' and insults his wife, Elaine Chao, after the senator voiced support for the Electoral Count Act reforms
Trump's remarks demonstrate a growing schism between him and McConnell, as the senator increasingly distanced himself from the former president.
- Panthers Wire
In a scenario straight out of a video game, we'd have the Panthers snatching QB Kyler Murray away from the Cardinals in Week 4's "Player Prowl."
- Business Insider
The US Navy said 'traces' of jet fuel were found in the water on the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz. A sailor says the problem was way worse.
"We were exposed to an unhealthy amount" of jet fuel, a sailor told Insider, adding that they believe the seriousness of the situation was downplayed.
The four royals received new titles following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Sept. 8
Republicans are mad that the Library of Congress allowed Lizzo — a classically trained flutist — to play James Madison's 200-year-old crystal flute
The Library of Congress lent Lizzo a 200-year-old crystal flute once gifted to James Madison for the Washington D.C. stop of her "Special" tour.
- The Daily Beast
ILYA PITALEVMoscow celebrated the annexation of huge swathes of Eastern Ukraine Friday but President Vladimir Putin’s party was wrecked by a lightning counter-attack that may have trapped thousands of his men in a key city supposedly now part of Russia. “This is the will of millions of people,” Putin said at a glitzy ceremony in front of high-ranking Russian diplomats still in the country. “People living in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson region and Zaporizhzhia region are becoming our compatriots for
Letters exchanged between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and former U.S. President Donald Trump between April 2018 and August 2019 have recently been published. “I am ready to work with your excellency with all my heart and devotion,” Kim said in a letter dated April 1, 2018, nearly six weeks before he first met Trump at the Singapore Summit. On the same day, Trump responded that he was “happy to meet” Kim to “drastically” improve relations between their respective governments.
- The Daily Beast
Kareem Elgazzar/ReutersA neuroscientist who specializes in concussions called for the Miami Dolphins’ medical staff and coaches to be fired after quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was hospitalized with a brutal head injury during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals Thursday night. Tagovailoa’s head hit the ground with such force during the second quarter that his hands and arms appeared to seize up. He had to be stretchered off the field. He was discharged from a hospital on Thursday night and return
- The Hill
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke traded barbs and sought to paint each other as inherently out of touch with the state in their first and only televised debate on Friday evening. The debate — hosted by Nexstar Media Group, which also owns The Hill — gave the candidates an opportunity…
- Miami Herald
The images that have come out of Southwest Florida — during and after Hurricane Ian — are jarring.
KYIV (Reuters) -Ukrainian troops said on Saturday they had taken the key bastion of Lyman in occupied eastern Ukraine, a stinging defeat that prompted a close ally of President Vladimir Putin to call for the possible use of low-grade nuclear weapons. The capture came just a day after Putin proclaimed the annexation of four Ukrainian regions - including Donetsk, where Lyman is located - and placed them under Russia's nuclear umbrella, at a ceremony that was condemned by Kyiv and the West as an illegitimate farce.
As an expert on decorating, I think homeowners should move on from busy letter art, DVD-collection displays, heavy curtains, and all-gray aesthetics.
- Rolling Stone
The former president howled about the Senate Minority Leader and made a racist remark about former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao
- Associated Press
After being encircled by Ukrainian forces, Russia pulled troops out Saturday from an eastern Ukrainian city that it had been using as a front-line hub. It was the latest victory for the Ukrainian counteroffensive that has humiliated and angered the Kremlin. Russia’s withdrawal from Lyman complicates its internationally vilified declaration just a day earlier that it had annexed four regions of Ukraine — an area that includes Lyman.
- The Independent
The couple’s Clooney Foundation for Justice recognised journalists, lawyers and rights groups
- Detroit Free Press
Detroit Lions DT Isaiah Buggs, who played two seasons with Tua Tagovailoa at Alabama, 'was shook' watching the QB's brain injury happen on TV.
- E! News
Miami Dolphins Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa Hospitalized for Head and Neck Injuries Sustained During Game
Miami Dolphins Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was taken to the hospital after sustaining injuries in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 29. Read on for the team's statement.
As Donald Trump and his eldest kids Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric tend to their $250 million business fraud lawsuit in New York, the three adult children are handling the legal situation in their own unique ways. Ivanka is choosing a much different strategy than her brothers by completely ignoring the drama publicly. Ivanka is […]
- Ukrayinska Pravda
KATERYNA TYSHCHENKO - FRIDAY, 30 SEPTEMBER 2022, 21:09 Dmitry Medvedev, the Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council, believes that Ukraine's accession to NATO will accelerate the outbreak of World War III.
Visual guide to powerful Hurricane Ian, which has caused devastation in Cuba and Florida