Senate Democrats have come together and are upset with the President for firing James Comey. Some in the Senate and several prominent activists are calling for “nuclear option” against Republicans and try and force a special prosecutor. VOX described it as a type of “strike.” Vox reports:
Democrats are holding off on pulling the trigger — at least for now.
“I hope it doesn’t get there,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), the number two ranking Democrat, said in an interview on Wednesday when asked if Senate Democrats would try to essentially shut down the upper chamber of Congress. “I’m hoping for a bipartisan approach to this. But let’s wait and see.”
Here’s how Senate Democrats’ “nuclear option” over Comey would work: Unlike the House of Representatives, the Senate operates under what are called “unanimous consent” agreements. If Senate Democrats withhold their consent, the routine functioning of the body — from committee hearings to routine floor votes — could grind to an immediate halt.
“It would stop everything in the Senate and effectively shut it down,” said Josh Huder, a congressional scholar at Georgetown’s Government Affairs Institute. “If they go down this road, things could get pretty slow and ugly in the Senate.”
In several interviews Wednesday morning, Senate Democrats said they would not rule out taking this dramatic step to confront Republicans over Comey’s ouster. They did confirm that members of their caucus have discussed the measure — even if they haven’t decided yet if they want to go that far.
Already, at least three major progressive activist groups told Vox Wednesday that they are demanding Senate Democrats use every tool at their disposal, including this nuclear option, to force Republicans to cave on appointing a special prosecutor.
“There’s no reason Donald Trump should be able to confirm nominees or pass laws while smashing the rule of law to pieces,” said Ben Wikler, Washington director of MoveOn.org. “This is an in case of emergency, break the glass moment. Democrats should shut down the Senate until a special prosecutor is appointed.”
On Wednesday morning, Senate Democrats convened in the Capitol for an emergency caucus-wide meeting to decide their response to the Comey firing. Before the meeting, Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan said that this nuclear option over Senate procedures would be one of the things they’d discuss deploying in their reaction. After the meeting, Senate Democrats suggested that the option was on the table.
“I don’t think people will make a rash judgment about the right approach, but there is absolutely a consensus that we need to do whatever we can do [to get] an independent investigation,” Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) said.
Asked if that meant shutting down the Senate over Comey, Bennet demurred. “We’ll see. We’ll see,” he said. “This may be the most important thing we deal with here for a long time.”
Progressive activists are trying to push them to take the plunge. Murshed Zaheed, of the progressive advocacy network CREDO, said he was encouraged that Sen. Feinstein had closed down Committee hearings on Wednesday and that Sen. Warner called for a delay in the FBI replacement until a special prosecutor was appointed.
“Those are steps in the right direction. But they need to shut all Senate proceedings down until there’s a special counsel. This is a constitutional crisis. This is code red time — Democrats need to shut the whole Senate down until there’s a special counsel,” Zaheed said.
Adam Green, of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, added that it was reasonable for Democrats to try shutting down the Senate over the Comey investigation.
“What is a proportionate response to a constitution crisis? It’s hard to imagine something being too extreme,” Green said. “It can’t be ho-hum. Democrats need a very strong response to make clear that this cannot happen.”
Well, it will be interesting to see what the Democrats will do, and they are furious with the President. What do you think the Democrats should do?