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FILIBUSTER THIS
Reid accuses Bush of lying about role in filibuster ban

RAW STORY

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) accused President Bush of "going back on his word" for having Vice President Cheney get involved in the debate over banning a Senate procedure that allows Democrats a last-resort veto.

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Cheney made a point to stop during an address today to say he would support a ban on the filibuster.

“These nominations were held up strictly for partisan political reasons, in an astounding departure from historical precedent,” Cheney said. “If the Senate majority decides to move forward and if the issue is presented to me in my elected office as President of the Senate and presiding officer, I will support bringing those nominations to the floor for an up-or-down vote,” he said to applause from the politically friendly audience. “On the merits, this should not be a difficult call to make.”

Reid fired back.

“In the span of three minutes, the vice president managed to reinvent 200 years of Senate history and ignore the fact that Congress has already approved 205 of this administration’s nominees," he said in a statement. "Apparently, a 95 percent confirmation rate is not enough for this president. He wants it all, even if it means shattering the checks and balances in our government in order to put radical judges on the bench."

Reid's full statement follows.

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BUSH GOES BACK ON WORD AND ENCOURAGES IRRESPONSIBLE ABUSE OF POWER

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid released this statement in response to the vice president’s comments on the nuclear option earlier today.

“In the span of three minutes, the vice president managed to reinvent 200 years of Senate history and ignore the fact that Congress has already approved 205 of this administration’s nominees. Apparently, a 95 percent confirmation rate is not enough for this president. He wants it all, even if it means shattering the checks and balances in our government in order to put radical judges on the bench.

“Last week, I met with the president and was encouraged when he told me he would not become involved in Republican efforts to break the Senate rules. Now, it appears he was not being honest, and that the White House is encouraging this raw abuse of power.

“It is disturbing that Republicans have so little respect for the separation of powers established by our founding fathers. Based on his comments last week, I had hoped that the president was prepared to join Democrats in taking up the work of the American people, but it is clear this is no longer the case. If the White House and Congress insists on proceeding down this road, Democrats will do all we can to ensure that Congress pursues an agenda the American people can be proud of.”

Article originally published Apr. 22, 2005.

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