Sen. Cornyn's "Nuclear" Hypocrisy

February 24, 2010 2:34 pm ET

On February 24, 2010, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) referred to the reconciliation process as "the 51 vote nuclear option." However, reconciliation is not the same thing as the "nuclear option," which refers to an attempt to change the Senate rules. Additionally, Cornyn previously wrote that "the 51-vote rule is a consistent Senate tradition."

Sen. Cornyn Goes "Nuclear" With The Truth

Sen. John Cornyn:

[Twitter, 2/24/10]

Reconciliation Is NOT The "Nuclear Option"

"Nuclear Option" Refers To Proposal To Change Senate Rules. As The New Yorker reported in 2005, "some Republicans are pushing to alter the Senate's rules so that a simple majority could cut off debate on judicial nominees. With the Senate now split fifty-five to forty-four (with one independent) in favor of the Republicans, the change could render the Democrats almost powerless to stop Bush's choices, including nominees to the United States Supreme Court. The magnitude of this transformation of the rules is suggested by the nickname it has acquired within the Senate: the 'nuclear option.'"[The New Yorker, 3/7/05]

Sen. Cornyn In 2005: "The 51-Vote Rule Is A Consistent Senate Tradition"

Sen. Cornyn Claimed "The 51-Vote Rule Is A Consistent Senate Tradition." In a 2005 letter to the New York Times, Sen. Cornyn wrote, "the 51-vote rule is a consistent Senate tradition. By calling for an end to filibusters, the Senate is simply contemplating restoring its traditions by traditional methods you disparage as 'nuclear'." [New York Times, 3/7/05]

The Huffington Post has more on the GOP's previous support for reconciliation.