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GOP plots to confirm Trump nominees more quickly

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Prior to the Rules Committee vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) decried a “crisis” on the Senate’s executive calendar. | J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo


Senate Republicans are preparing to use the ‘nuclear option’ to sideline Democrats.


02/13/2019 12:38 PM EST

Updated 02/13/2019 02:38 PM EST

Senate Republicans are moving to speed up the confirmation process for nominees, in an aggressive bid to stymie Democrats’ ability to delay President Donald Trump’s appointments.

The GOP-led Senate Rules Committee approved procedural changes on a 10-9 party-line vote Wednesday that would limit debate time for most nominees. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn't made a final decision on the measure but is expected to bring it to the floor within the next few weeks, senators said.

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Republicans may need to use the unilateral "nuclear option" to pass it, in what would be the latest instance of a Senate majority sidelining the minority party to change the chamber’s rules.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who is close to McConnell and worked on past rules changes to move confirmations more quickly during Barack Obama's presidency, said McConnell is expected to move imminently on the Senate floor.

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