Avoiding the 'Nuclear Option' in 2005
May 20, 2005
Senate Democrats voted Thursday to change filibuster rules to allow a simple majority vote to confirm President Obama's cabinet and judicial nominations after three of his nominees to the US Court of Appeals DC Circuit were filibustered. In 2005, when Republicans controlled the White House and Senate, Democrats -- including then-Minority Leader Harry Reid -- opposed the so-called nuclear option and fought to preserve their right to filibuster President Bush's nominations. In the end, a group of senators negotiated an agreement to avoid the changing of Senate rules and allow several Bush nominees to have an up or down vote.