U.S. SENATE News:
WASHINGTON –Tuesday, following a rare meeting of Republicans and Democrats to discuss how to end unprecedented obstruction, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., said he was hopeful that the Senate would move forward to confirm several nominees for key administration positions.
But he added that “obstruct and delay” has become the norm, and said a permanent change in the Senate rules must be made so the Senate can get work done for the American people.
Since 2009, Udall has called on the Senate to reform its rules – including by requiring a talking filibuster.
“I have said for a long time: The Senate is broken. That we had to hold an unprecedented meeting of both Democrats and Republicans to discuss how we can work together highlights that fact,” Udall said. “I hope that what comes out of this is good — that we can find a way to confirm the pending and future nominations. This isn’t just an obscure debate about Senate procedure. We need to confirm these qualified nominees to key positions so they can protect consumers and American families.
“We shouldn’t be in this situation. New Mexicans – and all Americans – expect better from us,” Udall said. “We called for changes in the Senate rules at the beginning of this Congress, and we didn’t do enough. And we know that even if we have an agreement to move forward on these nominees, we’ll be right back in this situation next time we’re asked to confirm an appointment one side doesn’t like. I’m going to keep fighting for a talking filibuster and other changes to ensure the Senate will work for the American people again.”
Earlier in the day, Udall delivered a speech on the Senate floor, urging his colleagues to end the gridlock on presidential nominees. Watch his speech here.