Frist to Invoke Cloture This Morning
Bump and Update: As anticipated, Frist kicked off the nuclear option today by moving to end debate on Priscilla Owen's nomination - called a motion or petition for cloture. The clock is ticking.
Original Post 6:30 am
The next stage of the Nuclear Option begins this morning when Sen. Bill Frist will move to invoke cloture on the Democrats' speeches about judicial nominee Priscilla Owen.
Shortly after the Senate convenes this morning, Frist, R-Tenn., will file a cloture petition, which requires the approval of 60 of 100 senators, to end debate on Owen's nomination. Last session, Democrats blocked Owen and nine other appellate court nominees. He has renominated seven of them this year. Under Senate rules that petition must "ripen" for two days while the Senate is in session -- today and Monday -- before a vote.
If no Democrats jump ship, the petition will fail because it needs 60 votes and there are only 55 Republicans. In that event, here are the next steps [direct quote].
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