Democrats block GOP effort to shorten debate on nominations

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats have blocked a GOP attempt to change Senate rules to limit debate time on most of President Donald Trump’s nominees to just two hours.

The party-line vote is another step toward a potential power play by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is considering ramming the rules change through later this week.

The proposed rules change would limit debate on most nominees to two hours instead of the 30 hours now required. Cabinet secretaries, Supreme Court nominations, and appeals court judges would be exempted from the new rules.

Tuesday’s approach required 60 votes to overcome a Democratic filibuster, but McConnell’s upcoming maneuver could pass by a simple majority. McConnell said Tuesday he’s taking action in response to “systematic obstruction” and a “grinding, across-the-board effort to delay and obstruct.”

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