Earlier today, the Senate leaders -- Harry Reid for Democrats, Mitch McConnell for Republicans -- duked it out over the proposed changes to the filibuster rules regarding President Obama's nominees for his Cabinet and various federal agencies.
Trying to sort through the forest of numbers that the two men cited to make their points, we asked each side to give us their best, one argument -- in chart form.
Here's the chart what we got from McConnell's office. And now to the chart from Reid's side.
The chart makes the point that filibustering executive nominees is incredibly rare when you look at the scope of the modern presidency. From Eisenhower to Ford, zero executive nominees were filibustered. The previous high for filibusters of nominees made by a president was nine during the Bill Clinton years. Already 16 executive nominees have been filibustered by Republicans during Obama's presidency with Senate Demnocrats projecting that as many as 28 could wind up being filibustered.
“It is a disturbing trend when Republicans are willing to block executive branch nominees even when they have no objection to the qualifications of the nominee," Reid said on the Senate floor this morning. "Instead, they are blocking qualified nominees to circumvent the legislative process, force wholesale changes to laws or restructure entire executive branch departments. They are blocking qualified nominees because they refuse to accept the law of the land."