Last week, Senator Cotton provided a long and detailed explanation as to why he was holding up Merrick Garland’s nomination to be Attorney General. Despite the long winded justification, the reality is that he was doing it because 1) he could and 2) he’s an asshole.
Senate Majority Leader Schumer didn’t say anything about Senator Cotton’s obstructionism. Instead he waited for his opening, moved to occupy the space once he had an opening, and completely destroyed Senator Cotton’s bad faith efforts.
Did Schumer just invoke cloture on Merrick Garland's Attorney General nomination while Republicans had left in exhaustion after their #votearama stunt?
— Janice Hough (@leftcoastbabe) March 6, 2021
Why yes, yes he did!
And it's right back to work: Majority Leader @SenSchumer has filed cloture on the nomination of Merrick Garland to be U.S. Attorney General, which means the Senate will vote next week on his confirmation.@SenateDems won't rest until we restore independence and integrity at DOJ.
— Senate Judiciary Committee (@JudiciaryDems) March 6, 2021
I know everyone likes to complain that Senator Schumer isn’t Harry Reid or that he’s not tough enough or that he’s not good at his job of Democratic leader, but the reality is he’s a strategic thinker, he picks his fights, and when he has the opportunities he takes them. Senator Van Hollen didn’t just stumble into advancing the American Recovery Act yesterday morning, he was there because Senator Schumer had a trusted agent in place to take advantage of Senator Johnson and the other Republican senators caring more about the optics of their stunt to slow down its passage than actually slowing down its passage. Schumer knew, because he knows his Republican colleagues, that as soon as they could flee the Senate floor to relieve themselves, get something to eat, or get some sleep that they would. And that would give him an opening to put the ARA back on track. His invoking cloture as soon as the ARA passed and the Republican senators filed out is the same type of tactic.
Merrick Garland’s nomination to be Attorney General will now proceed. Senator Cotton just got screwed on live television.
Enjoy your weekend.