Mark Udall, a strong advocate for making Congress work better for the American people, called today's vote to end the historic and ongoing stalemate over judicial and executive branch nominations unfortunate, but necessary.
"I have worked for years to bridge the partisan divide in Washington to find common ground with those I may disagree with, but Senate Republicans' ongoing and historic obstruction of highly qualified nominees is unacceptable. This obstruction is allowing a minority in the Legislative Branch to prevent the Executive Branch from doing its job for the American people. Coloradans expect better," Udall said. "Due to a cascade of obstructionism in the Senate, essential Executive Branch positions such as the Secretary of the Defense as well as dozens of judgeships -- essential for Main Street businesses and job creators to settle disputes and have their day in court -- have seen efforts to block up-or-down votes. These persistent vacancies undermine our economy, public safety and the fundamental promise of a functioning federal government. I did not relish today's vote, but it is necessary to protect the promise of the U.S. Constitution and to get government working again."
The U.S. Constitution allows the Senate to determine its own rules by a simple majority vote. By following these constitutional guidelines, the Senate agreed today to overcome Republican obstructionism on critical appointments to the executive branch and federal judicial bench, leaving unchanged the procedures for legislation and U.S. Supreme Court nominees.
Udall has been a strong supporter of the Senate's expedient consideration of judicial nominees. Earlier this year, he and Sen. Michael Bennet led the fight to confirm Raymond Moore to the U.S. District Court of the District of Colorado. Moore was selected by a bipartisan, 11-member advisory committee formed by Udall and Bennet, and nominated by the White House twice.