Flashback: Schumer Says Democrats Prefer 'Up-Or-Down' Votes Over Obstruction

March 29, 2017

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer  (D., N.Y.) and Democrats in the Senate are trying to filibuster President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, a far cry from Schumer saying at a 2013 press conference that "no matter who's in power," Democrats prefer up-or-down votes.

"We much prefer the risk of up-or-down votes in majority rule, than the risk of continued total obstruction. That is the bottom line, no matter who's in power," Schumer said during the press conference.

But Democrats are distancing themselves from Schumer's previous statements, and Schumer is now saying that the Supreme Court nominees should reach a threshold of 60 votes in the Senate.

Schumer and Sen. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.), the Senate's second-ranking Democrat, both called the 60-vote threshold a "standard" for Supreme Court nominees. Democrats are holding to this statement, despite the Washington Post's fact checker Glenn Kessler giving them "Two Pinocchios," calling their language "slippery" and "misleading."

"Democrats are being slippery with their language. Sixty votes is not 'a standard' for Supreme Court confirmations, as two of the current justices on the court did not meet that supposed standard," Kessler wrote.

In addition to Schumer and Durbin, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) spoke at the 2013 press conference, declaring that "[T]he founding fathers were very clear in what they thought there should be supermajorities [for] Impeachments. And, of course, on treaties."

"And in the same paragraph, as it deals with two-thirds votes, specifically the founding fathers did not mention, at all, other things other than those two things that required a super majority," Reid added.