Misleading: CNN's New Day Says Invoking Nuclear Option 'Unprecedented'

On CNN's New Day Tuesday, anchors Alisyn Camerota and Chris Cuomo said, respectively, that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's plan to activate the so-called "nuclear option" to avert a now-secured Democratic fillibuster of President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is "unprecedented" and that "we've never seen it before." While the nucelar option has never been used to confirm a Supreme Court nominee, the report omitted that in 2013, then-Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, invoked it to confirm President Barack Obama's nominees, with Supreme Court nominees as the exception.

"Democrats have now locked in enough support to be able to successfully filibuster Neil Gorsuch which essentially dares the Republicans to do what they have been threatening to do all along: invoke this so-called nuclear option changing long-standing Senate rules, getting Gorsuch through this week with a simple majority vote," political coorespondent Sunlen Serfaty said. "So far, Republicans are not backing down from that threat."

Despite a change in Senate tradition, South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said: "The judges become more ideological because you don't have to reach across the aisle to get one vote any longer. This is going to haunt the Senate, change the judiciary, and is so unnecessary."

"But Democrats have been emboldened after Republicans refuse to hold a hearing last year for President Obama's Supreme Court justice pick Merrick Garland," Serfaty said.

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She added, "Meantime back on the Gorsuch battle, the wheels in motion will start turning on all of this today. At some point, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will move to end the vote. That will set up key procedural vote on Thursday. We suspect as we've been reporting that filibuster will not be defeated."

The Senate is expected to vote to confirm Garland by the end of the week.

Here is the transcript of the March 4th report:

New Day

04/4/2017

6:12:56 AM – 6:16:29 AM [3 min., 33 sec.]

ALISYN CAMEROTA: Turning to the Supreme court battle. Democrats now have the votes to block President Trump's nominee Neil Gorsuch, so Republicans are poised to override them by changing Senate rules to confirm him when they vote on Friday. That would be unprecedented at this level. CNN’s Sunlen Serfaty is live on capitol hill with more on this showdown, what is next Sunlen? 

SUNLEN SERFATY:  Democrats have now locked in enough support to be able to successfully filibuster Neil Gorsuch which essentially dares the Republicans to do what they have been threatening to do all along: invoke this so-called nuclear option changing long-standing Senate rules, getting Gorsuch through this week with a simple majority vote. So far, Republicans are not backing down from that threat.

[ROLL CLIP]

JOHN CORNYN: Judge Gorsuch will be confirmed by the end of the week by the United States Senate. 

SERFATY:  Senate Republicans poised to invoke nuclear option for Supreme Court nominees to confirm Neil Gorsuch. 

[ROLL CLIP]

LINDSEY GRAHAM: I'm going to vote to change the rules, not part of the Senate where Democrats get their judges and Republicans can never get theirs. 

SERFATY: After Democrats secured enough votes to filibuster his nomination. 

[ROLL CLIP]

DIANNE FEINSTEIN: This nomination is not the usual nomination. 

SERFATY: The Senate Majority Leader vowing to change the rules so Gorsuch and future Supreme Court nominees will only need a simple majority to secure confirmation, needing 51 votes rather than 60.

[ROLL CLIPS]

ORRIN HATCH:  I think that's unworthy of the Senate. I don't think it's the right thing to do.

LINDSEY GRAHAM: The judges become more ideological because you don't have to reach across the aisle to get one vote any longer. This is going to haunt the Senate, change the judiciary, and is so unnecessary. 

SERFATY: But Democrats have been emboldened after Republicans refuse to hold a hearing last year for President Obama's Supreme Court justice pick Merrick Garland. 

[ROLL CLIP]

CHRIS COONS:  If seven months of preventing judge Merrick Garland from getting a hearing and a vote is anything, it is the longest and most successful partisan filibuster in Senate history. 

SERFATY: The Supreme Court showdown playing out on Capitol Hill as the White House tries to revive the health care battle. Vice President Mike Pence meeting with Freedom Caucus late last night trying to win them over with two new offers. First allowing states to opt out of providing essential health benefits provided under ObamaCare. Also on the table, a waiver for insurers to opt out of requirements that ban them from charging higher premiums based on gender, age, or prior illness. 

[ROLL CLIP]

MARK MEADOWS:  We're encouraged by at least the idea, intrigued by the idea, but certainly need a whole lot more information but we can take any action. 

SERFATY:  Meantime back on the Gorsuch battle, the wheels in motion will start turning on all of this today. At some point, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will move to end the vote. That will set up key procedural vote on Thursday. We suspect as we've been reporting that filibuster will not be defeated. It is then when the potential nuclear option could be invoked, which, Chris, sets up final confirmation vote for Neil Gorsuch on Friday.  

CHRIS CUOMO: Politically sticky situation but logically simple. Traditionally, you need 60 votes to get a Supreme Court justice through. Now they are changing the rules to make it a simple majority. That would be something. We've never seen it before. We'll tell you more on what's doing on with this battle over Gorsuch.

NB Daily Gorsuch Nomination Congress Media Bias Debate Bias by Omission Covert Liberal Activists Double Standards New Day Journalistic Issues History Alisyn Camerota Chris Cuomo Neil Gorsuch Mitch McConnell
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