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Senator Lankford Issues Statement on Votes to Change Senate Rules

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today issued the following statement after a series of votes to change the Senate timeline for nominations to pass by a simple majority. Lankford introduced a resolution to officially change Senate rules (Senate Resolution 50) earlier this year, but it failed to receive the necessary votes for passage yesterday.

“Every president, no matter their party, deserves to pick their staff without unnecessary delays,” said Lankford. “In 2013, when nominations slowed for a while, Republicans agreed to join Democrats in a fix for nominations so President Obama could still hire his staff in a timely manner. Unfortunately, Democrats refused to agree to the exact same proposal they voted for in 2013 or an additional simplified nomination proposal.  Instead, Democrats would only agree to nomination changes if they started after the next Presidential election in 2021.   

“Today’s vote takes the Senate nomination process back to how it operated for over 200 years, providing both parties a neutral nomination process that is fair. The process now allows committees to do a full background check, public hearing, staff questions, questions for the record and a committee vote. If additional time is requested after the committee vote, up to 26 hours of additional time is also allotted on the Senate floor for debate (a full day, plus two hours). I have worked on this proposal for two years to help the Senate be more efficient and to treat each candidate equally and fairly. Today’s actions will allow the Senate to fulfill its unique duty of legislation and personnel and get back to debating issues, engaging new ideas, and solving problems.”

Earlier today, Lankford spoke on the Senate floor to express his frustration with the lack of bipartisanship in the conversation of how to make the Senate function again with regard to the nominations process.