Klobuchar backs move to end filibusters of presidential appointments


Sen. Amy Klobuchar says she supports a plan to reduce the number of Senate votes needed to confirm nominees appointed to executive branch positions.

The change would eliminate the use of filibusters to block Senate approval of presidential nominees.

As MinnPost reports, Klobuchar told the ABC News show "This Week" she thinks a simple majority, rather than sixty votes, should be enough the approve a presidential nomination. The Minnesota Democrat says she will support that lower threshold even during a Republican administration. She supports keeping the 60-vote minimum for judicial appointments.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he will push for the rule change this week in advance of votes on seven people who have been appointed by President Obama.

Reid says the Republican minority in the Senate is using the filibuster to obstruct the appointments even of nominees whose qualifications are not in doubt. Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has labeled Reid's suggestion "the nuclear option" and says it would be one of the most significant changes of Senate rules in history.

The nominees whose appointments would be affected by the change include the U.S. Attorney for Minnesota, B. Todd Jones. His nomination to direct the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives was approved by the Senate Judicary Committee last week. Klobuchar is among the 10 Democrats who backed Jones in the party-line vote.

Here's her appearance on "This Week."

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