AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka applauded Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's action to end the filibuster for judicial and executive branch nominations. Big Labor had pushed hard to change the filibuster, which they saw as preventing union-friendly appointees. In a statement to reporters, Trumka said:
Time and again, Republican senators have put political obstruction ahead of what’s best for America. Their unprecedented abuse of the Senate rules is a naked attempt to nullify the last election by denying President Obama his picks for critical judicial and executive branch posts. But the Constitution does not allow a minority of one house of Congress to hold the other two branches of government hostage. We applaud the leadership of Senator Reid to uphold democracy by breaking through the gridlock in order to address the pressing needs of our country.
These Washington games have real consequences in people’s lives. Democrat, Republican or Independent, it’s a disgrace and simply un-American if we are not working hard for the people across the country struggling to make ends meet. Working people expect their leaders to maintain a functioning government that works for them and the labor movement will continue to hold those leaders accountable to do just that.