Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Update on the Compromise Talks

As the Senate began debate on the nomination of Priscilla Owen today, marking the leadup to a showdown vote on the nuclear option [parts one and two of my updates from earlier today on the debates are here], talks on a compromise to make the showdown unnecessary continued over the course of the day.

The Hill's Geoff Earle said on C-SPAN2 at the end of their coverage of the Senate this evening that while no deal has been reached, those involved are now "working off a single draft" proposal, and he commented that more and more senators seem to be joining the discussions. Jesse Holland of the Associated Press reports that while talks have broken off for the evening, those involved plan to resume negotiations tomorrow.

Holland's piece notes that potential compromisers met at one point in the office of Virginia's John Warner, and later in Ohioan Mike DeWine's quarters. He quotes a spokesman of Democrat Ken Salazar as saying his boss has attended "at least 13 private meetings over the previous 24 hours with senators trying to reach a deal." Lindsey Graham, who first became publicly involved in the attempts at deal-making on Wednesday, told Holland "It's kind of like exams. If you have a date-certain, people tend to react. So in that sense, this has been a good thing."

MSNBC's Tom Curry also comments on the attempts to reach a compromise, adding to Holland's reporting that some lobbying groups have come out in opposition to any deal. The Alliance for Justice's Nan Aron, for instance, said "The Alliance for justice is categorically opposed to any deal, any deal. We have communicated that message to all the offices of the Democrats. It would be bad for the federal judiciary. ... We are working very hard to dissuade them from agreeing to a deal."

James Dobson is doing the same thing to the Republicans. Shouldn't that tell us something?


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