Tim Kaine Said He'd Nuke the Filibuster to Confirm a Dem Nominee

March 29, 2017

Sen. Tim Kaine (D., Va.) said during the 2016 campaign that he would use the nuclear option in order to confirm a Democratic nominee in order to get around Republican senators.

Kaine spoke with the Huffington Post's Sam Stein and Amanda Terkel in October 2016, and said that if his running mate Hillary Clinton won, they would be willing to use the nuclear option in the Senate to confirm Clinton's nominees.

"I was in the Senate when the Republicans’ stonewalling around appointments caused Senate Democratic majority to switch the vote threshold on appointments from 60 to 51. And we did it on everything but a Supreme Court justice," Kaine said.

"If these guys think they’re going to stonewall the filling of that vacancy or other vacancies, then a Democratic Senate majority will say, 'We’re not going to let you thwart the law,'" Kaine continued.

Kaine added that Democrats "will change the Senate rules to uphold the law."

Currently, Kaine and most Senate Democrats have said that they are willing to force Republicans to use the nuclear option in order to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Republican leadership has said that they would like to attain the 60 votes normally needed to advance the nomination, but are willing to use the nuclear option if necessary. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said that it would be up to the Democrats as to whether the nuclear option would be used.

Democrats were the first to use the nuclear option, putting it in place during the Obama administration and while they held control of the Senate, in order to confirm other nominees of the president's.