Monday, May 23, 2005


Fourteen senators, from both political parties, announced this evening a compromise to avert the nuclear option. Senator Byrd: "We have kept the republic ... thank God, thank God for this moment and for these colleagues of mine." Senator Warner: "It was a privilege to be associated with these individuals ..."

Those present: McCain, Warner, DeWine, Collins, Snowe, Lieberman, Byrd, Pryor, Landrieu, Nelson, Graham, Salazar. Those not present but signing: Chafee, Inouye.

[Update: Senator DeWine: "This is an agreement based on trust and good faith. ... This is a good day for our country ... It will enable us to get back to the business of our country." Lieberman: "We came together and did the unexpected. ... The bipartisan center held." -- 7:50 p.m.]

[Update: McCain: "The first question the media's going to ask is who won and who lost. The Senate won, and the country won." HERE HERE! -- 7:52 p.m.]

[Update: Collins: "Everyone involved was committed to avoiding this painful, bitter and prolonged dispue in the United States Senate." -- 7:55 p.m.]

[Update: Graham: "The Senate is back in business ... I was prepared to vote yes ... I'll tell you what's going to happen - some people at home are going to be upset with me for a while." -- 7:57 p.m.]

[Update: Salazar: "In order for us to solve the problems of our country ... it's going to require leaders who are going to unite us, not divide us." CNN reports that three judges (Owen, Rogers Brown and Pryor) will get votes; Pryor and Saad may remain filibustered. No nuclear option, and no filibusters except under "extreme circumstances." It looks pretty similar to the draft agreement floated more than a week ago by Nelson and Lott. -- 8:00 p.m.]

[Update: C-SPAN reports that Senator Frist is expected on the Senate floor any minute in light of the compromise. -- 8:05 p.m.]

[Update: Minority Leader Harry Reid is beginning a news conference: "This is really good news for every American tonight. ... Checks and balances have been protected, the integrity of the Supreme Court has been protected from the vocal influence of the radical right wing. Tonight the Senate has worked its will ... abuse of power will not be tolerated, and your attempt, I say to the Vice President and the President, to trample the Constitution and grab absolute power, is over. ... We have had to move forward, and as Senator Byrd said, we have a republic tonight, it has been protected." -- 8:09 p.m.]

[Update: Some of the early stories on the compromise: MSNBC, CNN, AP. -- 8:11 p.m.]

[Update: Frist, on the floor, says he has reviewed the agreement but that he is not a party to it. "The agreement announced tonight falls short." "The bad news ... it's a shame that well-qualified nominees are threatened still." I guess he'd have to say it, rain on the parade. He's in a tough spot now. "There is no need, at present, for the 'constitutional option.' But with this agreement, all things remain on the table, including the 'constitutional option.'" -- 8:18 p.m.]

[Update: More Frist: "I see [this] as a victory for the Senate." -- 8:20 p.m.]

[Update: Now Reid on the floor: "This is a day I've waited for for a long time. ... We are now in a new Congress, in a new day, and it was made possible by a group of very very unique individuals, United States Senators." Credits Byrd and Warner with "working with some of the youngsters here" and coming up with this deal, "this is a victory for the American people, because we have preserved the Constitution of the United States. No longer will we have to be giving speeches here about breaking the rules to change the rules, we are moving forward to a new day. ... I am grateful to my colleagues who have brokered this deal ... I'm hopeful that we can quickly move to work on the peoples' business. ..." -- 8:26 p.m.]

[Update: More Reid: "We've won anyway, because this is a victory for the American people. ... It's over with, and I feel so good. This will be the first night in at least six weeks that I will sleep peacefully. I owe a debt of gratitude to these senators who did what the two leaders couldn't do." -- 8:29 p.m.]

[Update: McConnell notes that he wouldn't have made this agreement, but calls it "a good start." Senator Durbin, quoting Churchill: "There's nothing more exhilarating than being shot at and missed." "What we have seen is the emergence of people from the center ..." -- 8:39 p.m.]

[Update: Senator Warner, now on the floor. "Each senator among the fourteen was but one among equals, working for a common good. ... I'm proud to have been a part of this, and I do hope that our wonderful Senate can now resume its service to the nation." -- 8:43 p.m.]

[Update: Schumer: "We here in the Senate stepped right up the precipice, but we didn't fall in. ... Senators came together and came to an agreement that I think serves this body well." -- 8:45 p.m.]

[Update: Washington Post has an article up now on the compromise. -- 8:50 p.m.]

[Update: The Senate has moved back into prepared remarks (ho-hum now after the evening we've had!). Alan at The Yellow Line has this post up on the compromise ... I'm going to start off with some analysis now and leave off the live-blogging unless something big comes up. -- 8:58 p.m.]

[Update: My analysis here. -- 9:52 p.m.]


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