In post-nuclear Senate, Obama nominee thumbs nose at lawmakers

By: American Decency Staff

"Welcome to the post-nuclear Senate," said a GOP aide after the confirmation of Jeh Johnson as Secretary of Homeland Security. Johnson's nomination was one of the first to be considered after Majority Leader Harry Reid used the so-called "nuclear option" to override the Senate's rules and end the use of filibusters on executive and judicial nominations. Now, nominees can be confirmed by a simple majority vote.

Winning passage wasn't a major issue for Johnson; he was confirmed 78 to 16. But because of Reid's move, Johnson could go into the process knowing he didn't need a single Republican vote to be confirmed. If Johnson could be confident that he had at least 51 of the Senate's 55 Democratic votes — he actually had all of them — he didn't need to pay attention to Republicans at all.

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