Schumer: I wish we hadn't triggered 'nuclear option'

Story highlights

  • Democrats in 2013 lowered the threshold to overcome a filibuster from 60 to 51 votes
  • The move will make it easier for the Senate to confirm Trump's nominations

Washington (CNN)Sen. Chuck Schumer lamented Tuesday the Democrats' move to diminish the number of senators needed to confirm Cabinet picks from 60 votes to 51, because the new rule now hurts his party.

"I argued against it at the time. I said both for Supreme Court and in Cabinet should be 60 because on such important positions there should be some degree of bipartisanship," Schumer, a New York Democrat and the incoming Senate minority leader, told CNN's Dana Bash. "I won on Supreme Court, lost on Cabinet. But it's what we have to live with now."
In 2013, then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other top Democrats became convinced GOP delaying tactics were crippling Washington. They triggered the so-called "nuclear option" which -- over the objections of Republicans -- lowered the threshold to overcome a filibuster from 60 to 51 votes.
    "Wish it hadn't happened," Schumer said.
    Senate Democrats have vowed to stall action on eight of President-elect Donald Trump's Cabinet nominees who are focused on implementing his economic, law enforcement and regulatory agenda, a senior Democratic aide told CNN Monday.
    If effective, the threat could delay confirming the President-elect's choices for months.