“The Republican majority is lighting its credibility on fire … The next time the American people give Democrats a majority in this chamber, you will have forfeited the right to tell us how to run that majority,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said during a floor speech Monday.
“My colleagues may regret this for a lot longer than they think,” he added.
Nominees once needed 60 votes to be confirmed, but Sen. Mitch McConnell changed the standard in 2017 to allow for a simple majority. That move allowed for the confirmation of President Trump’s previous two nominees, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., first eliminated the 60-vote threshold in 2013 to overcome GOP stonewalling of President Obama’s nominations to the lower courts and the executive branch. Known as invoking the “nuclear option” at the time, Reid kept the higher standard in place for the Supreme Court.
The comments by Schumer appeared to be similar to those made by McConnell back in 2013 after the Democratic-controlled chamber eliminated the 60-vote threshold.
“You’ll regret this, and you may regret it a lot sooner than you think,” McConnell said in 2013, according to the Hill.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also released a statement criticizing Trump and the GOP Senate for “committed an act of supreme desperation” so close to Election Day.
Pelosi argued the confirmation, which she called a manipulation, was made so Trump and Republicans could “achieve their years-long campaign to destroy Americans’ health care”
“The President’s Supreme Court manipulation threatens the very values and rights that define and distinguish our nation: a woman’s constitutional right to make her own medical decisions, the rights of LGBTQ Americans, the right of workers to organize and collectively bargain for fair wages, the future of our planet and environmental protections, voting rights and the right of every American to have a voice in our democracy,” Pelosi wrote in a statement.