A couple of resolutions to some sticky problems in the United States Senate haven’t brought total peace between majority Democrats and minority Republicans and a Nebraska senator says the August break is coming just in time.
Sen. Deb Fischer acknowledges that some Democrats and Republicans reached agreement to allow some presidential nominees to win Senate approval, but the top Democrat still threatens to end the filibuster.
“When you’ve got that threat hanging out there, that’s not a good thing. That’s not a way to instill trust,” Fischer tells Nebraska reporters during a conference call.
It was the threat issued by Majority Floor Leader, Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, which brought some Democrats and Republicans together to break a log-jam that kept a number of President Barack Obama’s nominees from a vote in the Senate. Even though the agreement was reached, Reid refused to withdraw his threat. He has kept it in reserve in case minority Republicans again uses parliamentary maneuvers to block presidential nominees or otherwise stall legislation.
Fischer, a Republican, says the filibuster isn’t just a precious right to the minority, it protects the process.
“Or else, we’re not going to hear both sides, or all sides of an issue,” Fischer asserts.
Senators also have reached agreement on a bill that will lower the interest rate on college student loans that doubled at the beginning of the month.
Though Republicans and Democrats reached agreement on those issues, Fischer says the climate of the Senate in Washington remains tense.
“Well, I can tell you I’m looking forward to August recess and I’m looking forward to getting back to Nebraska. I say that with a big smile on my face.”
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]