WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced he would file cloture on 17 judicial nominees, Sen. Mike Lee released the following response:
“Sen.P Harry Reid’s action is nothing more than a political stunt designed to distract the American people from the Democrats’ legislative failures. His sudden interest in judicial nominations is a desperate attempt to draw attention away from his party’s failure to address our nation’s economic emergencies.
“I welcome the opportunity to discuss the judicial nomination process with Sen. Reid and President Obama. Last year, Republican colleagues and I were extremely cooperative in supporting the vast majority of President Obama’s nominees, including many with whom I disagree. We confirmed scores of district and circuit court nominees at a pace consistent with, and in some cases more quickly than during, the Bush administration.
“But on January 4, after the President made four unconstitutional appointments, we could no longer sustain the same level of cooperation. By brazenly ignoring the Senate’s constitutional role in providing advice and consent, President Obama made it impossible for senators to conduct business as usual. We simply cannot continue to afford nominees near-complete deference until President Obama rescinds his unconstitutional appointments and restores the Senate’s proper constitutional role in the confirmation process. I cannot sit idly by and watch as the President openly violates the Constitution and ignores a century of Senate rules.
“Sen. Reid’s assertion that ‘Republicans have refused to allow us to even vote’ is simply false. We have not refused a single vote. In the time since President Obama’s unconstitutional ‘recess’ appointments, the Senate has confirmed seven judicial nominees, despite principled opposition from many Republicans.
“The notion that Sen. Reid has filed for cloture because Republicans are ‘blocking’ nominees is equally false. In fact, of the 17 nominees in question, three were only cleared by the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday, and the full Senate has not even had an opportunity to consider them. Given such facts, Sen. Reid’s claims of ‘obstruction’ simply cannot be taken seriously.
“President Obama and Senate Democrats have had three years to create, promote, and pass a pro-growth, pro-job agenda and they have failed miserably. Such election-year stunts serve only to hide their shameful and embarrassing record.”