Three Flip-O-Meters on the “nuclear option”

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Three Flip-O-Meter-Checks on the “nuclear option”

After years of threats and retreats by both parties, the Democratic Senate majority on Nov. 21, 2013, enacted a controversial rule change called the “nuclear option.”

Under the new rule, the Senate only needs a 51-vote majority instead of a 60-vote supermajority to end a filibuster and move to a final vote on a nomination.

The question of whether to change the rule has long divided the chamber’s majority and its minority. In fact, supporting or opposing the “nuclear option” has been much more closely linked to a senator’s position in the majority or the minority than whether they’re a Republican or Democrat.

This means that both sides in this recent faceoff made different arguments than they had in previous iterations of the battle.

We checked three of those claims on our Flip-O-Meter: PolitiFact’s Flip-O-Meter rates politicians’ consistency on particular topics from No Flip to Full Flop. The meter is not intended to pass judgment on whether the change is justified or not. It simply looks at whether they did, indeed, change their stated position.


READ the Fact-Check on President Obama’s position

READ the Fact-Check on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s position

READ the Fact-Check on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s position


Published on: PolitiFact.com (November 2013).

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