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Senate uses 'nuclear' option as Bill Nelson joins filibuster

BillNelsonatdeskKristenClark

via @learyreports

The United States Senate just went nuclear.

With Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson this morning joining a filibuster of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, Republlicans just approved a rule change to allow confirmation with a simple majority.

Sen. Marco Rubio joined the GOP to invoke the "nuclear option."

"The filibuster has always forced the political extremes to come of the middle to build consensus,” Nelson told the Tampa Bay Times in February, adding that it was a “mistake” for former Democratic leader Harry Reid to lower the threshold on other nominees that were stymied by Republicans.

Democrats will point to the GOP's refusal to take up Merrick Garland, President Obama's choice to replace the late Antonin Scalia. And Republicans will blame Democrats for changing rules that have been considered sacrosanct.

Gorsuch is expected to be confirmed Friday.

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