Chairman Carper: ‘I’m glad we averted the nuclear option’

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, released the following statement after Senate leaders reached an agreement to vote on several executive branch nominees, avoiding the so-called “nuclear option:”

“Today, leaders of both parties in the Senate reached a tentative agreement to consider several of President Obama’s nominees for key executive branch positions after months, and in some cases years, of delay. Simply put, it’s about time. I’m glad we averted the nuclear option, and over the past week I urged my colleagues to pursue compromise versus brinksmanship. Today that compromise was reached, and I believe it was due in no small part to the constructive meeting we held Monday night in the Old Senate Chamber. For years, I’ve been pushing for regular bipartisan caucus meetings because I know they can hold the key for building consensus. I’m hopeful that we can have even more of these meetings going forward and that they’ll help us tackle even bigger issues in a bipartisan way.

“This compromise cannot be a one-time thing. We still have too many vacancies within the executive branch as well as the judicial branch. We need to continue voting on nominations that the President puts forward in a fair and expeditious manner. Hopefully, that can be the new normal in the Senate’s process of advising and, ultimately, consenting. After all, the President – regardless of party – deserves to be able to assemble a leadership team to help him or her govern. While Senators may not personally approve of each and every nominee, we should as a regular practice ensure that nominees receive an up-or-down vote in a timely manner. Additionally, we can’t afford to continue delaying routine consideration of legislation in the Senate. Filibusters not on bills themselves but on motions to proceed to legislation continue to gum up the works of the Senate. I hope that what I call the ‘two Cs’ – communicating and compromising – will carry the day and help guide the Senate’s path moving forward, on both nominations and legislation.”