Nuclear Politics:

Vice President Cheney said last week that if his vote were needed to break a tie, he would vote to end Senate filibusters of judicial nominees. Meanwhile, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid summarily rejected a compromise offer by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist that would have guaranteed not only that every appellate court and Supreme Court nominee reported out of the Judiciary Committee gets a floor vote, but also that every nominee gets reported out of the committee in the first place.

Gizzi asked McClellan if Cheney’s statement meant Bush supported the so-called nuclear option as well. “[The President] has emphasized the importance of all these nominees’ getting up-or-down votes in the Senate,” McClellan said, adding that Democrats were “playing politics” with judicial appointments. But he stopped short of putting Bush’s blessing on a rule change, saying “procedural matters in Congress are for Congress to address.”