The passing of the so called “nuclear option” in the US Senate Thursday drew opposition from both of Arkansas' Senators. The rule change allows for executive and judicial nominees, other than Supreme Court justices, to be confirmed by a simple majority rather than the previous requirement of 60 votes.
Although Senator Mark Pryor voted to consider the change, he was ultimately one of only three Democrats to vote against the measure.
On the Senate floor, Pryor said, “I think that it could do permanent damage here to this institution and could have some very negative ramifications to the country and to the American people. I don't want to be an alarmist about it but I do have concerns about it and I'm very disappointed that it got to this point.”
Pryor continued, “I've worked with these rules for 11 years now. They can be arcane and frustrating but the way it's designed is that it allows people to fight for their state's interests or their ideological beliefs, whatever it happens to be. The sense is that everybody's fighting for what's best for the country. We may disagree with what's best and that's why we should have votes eventually.”
Republican Senator John Boozman voted with the rest of his party, saying in a statement the majority party leader “broke the rules, changed the rules, and at some point, is going to regret this decision.”