*President Barack Obama hasn’t had a lot to smile about in these past several weeks.
But he’s smiling now and is all the way down with a move by Senate Democrats to make it harder for Republicans to block his nominees.
He spoke shortly after the Senate voted 52-48 to weaken the power of the filibuster. The rule change will make it harder for minority Republicans to block confirmation of the president’s nominees for judges and other top posts.
Obama says the “unprecedented pattern of obstruction” in Congress has left Americans more frustrated with Washington than ever. He said the pattern “isn’t normal” and isn’t based on substantive differences over his nominees.
The president says that as a former senator, he values the chamber’s powers. But he says some rules are now being used as a tool to “grind business to a halt.”