Today on the Hill: Showdown over Senate Rules Change Looms

Yesterday evening, Senators failed to advance (51-48) a change to the Senate rules that would speed up the presidential nominee confirmation process due to opposition from Senate Democrats. The resolution (S.Res. 50) — approved by the Senate Rules Committee in February — would limit the post-cloture debate time from 30 hours to two for executive branch nominees and District Court judges, but would not apply to Cabinet or Supreme Court nominees. In response to the failed vote, Senate Republicans appear likely invoke another rule change at some point this week, known as the “nuclear option,” that would allow the resolution to pass with a simple majority rather than a 60 vote threshold. 

In the House, lawmakers will begin consideration of a bill (H.R. 1585) that would reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. The lower chamber is also set to pass a Democratic resolution (H.Res. 271) opposing recent legal steps by the Trump administration to invalidate the Affordable Care Act (ACA).