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Senator Lankford Applauds Rules Committee Passage of Gridlock Reform

WASHINGTON, DC – The Senate Rules Committee today approved Senator Lankford’s gridlock reform resolution (S. Res. 355) to permanently speed up Senate debate time on most executive and judicial nominees. The next step would be for a vote in the full Senate. 

“Former Democratic Leader Harry Reid led an identical bipartisan rule change to create more efficiency for the 113th Congress,” said Lankford. “Now, it’s time to make this original Democratic proposal permanent, for this Senate and future Senates to come. The current historic Senate Democrat obstruction of nominees is not just impacting this President, it’s hurting the American people by slowing operations and services at multiple federal agencies. For the sake of future Senate precedent, and future presidents, I urge Democrats to support my resolution to permanently make the Senate more efficient. The American people expect Congress to work hard on their behalf; what is happening now in the Senate is beneath the expectation of the people who sent us here. Now is the time to do the right thing. The rules of the Senate are created by the Senators; so when the Senate is not functioning, it is the responsibility of the Senators to fix the Senate rules.”

Specifically, Lankford’s resolution would reduce debate time for most executive branch nominees from 30 hours down to eight hours, and district court nominees from 30 hours to two hours. The resolution maintains the 30 hours of post-cloture debate time for Supreme Court, circuit court, and Cabinet-level nominees.

In 2013, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) introduced the same resolution solely for the duration of the 113th Congress (2013-2014); it passed with bipartisan support 78-16 and was supported by nearly every Democrat, including Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Lankford introduced this idea in an August 2017 Wall Street Journal op-ed. The Rules Committee held a hearing about this on December 19, 2017.