Reid Rejects Frist’s Filibuster Compromise on Bush’s Pro-Life Judges

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 29, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Reid Rejects Frist’s Filibuster Compromise on Bush’s Pro-Life Judges Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 29, 2005

Washington, DC ( — Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid has rejected a compromise deal brought to him by Senate Republican Leader Bill Frist. Frist proposed 100 hours of debate on judicial nominee as long as there is a confirmation vote for each person at the end of the debate.

Reid’s rejection of the proposal likely brings the Senate closer to a vote on changing Senate rules to lower the number of votes necessary.

"It’s a big wet kiss to the far right,” he said of the idea.

However, he told the Los Angeles Times that he was still open to negotiating.

"I don’t really like the proposal given, but I’m not going to throw it away," Reid said.

Frist’s compromise offer came after one from Reid, in which the Democrat proposed dropping the rules change bid in exchange for votes on only a handful of the two dozen judges abortion advocates are blocking.

He described the vote to colleagues in the Senate and said compromise may not be to everyone’s satisfaction.

"Sen. Reid and I have been talking almost every day on this issue. And I’m hopeful he’ll accept my offer as a solution," Frist said on the Senate floor. "It may not be a perfect proposal for either side, but it’s the right proposal for America."

However, Reid refuses to give up his position that the filibuster on judges must be preserved and Frist won’t back down from requiring the filibuster rules to be relaxed.

"Senators have a duty to vote up or down on judicial nominees. Confirm them or deny them — but give them all the courtesy of a vote," Frist said.

Pro-life groups have continued their focused efforts to ensure that Bush’s pro-life judicial picks receive confirmation votes.

"These nominees deserve to be voted on one way or another so they can move ahead with their lives and good works in whatever capacity that may be," Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said Friday.

"[F]or nominees to be held back from opportunity because they have chosen a faith that might advise against abortion … is deplorable," Perkins added.

Other pro-life advocates condemned Reid for not backing down on his party’s filibusters.

"Reid obviously does not understand that the American people see these filibusters for what they are: a witch-hunt," Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life explained. "Senate Democrats have shown that they intend to prevent anyone whose religious convictions command a respect for life from serving in the highest courts in the land."