President Barack Obama praised the Senate for changing filibuster rules on Thursday, lauding “the step that a majority of senators took today to change the way Washington does business.”
“An unprecedented pattern of obstruction in Congress has prevented too much of the American people’s business from getting done,” the president told reporters in the White House briefing room.
“Today’s pattern of obstruction is not normal,” he added. “It’s not what our founders envisioned.”
The rule change — commonly referred to as the “nuclear option” — allows a simple majority to end filibusters on executive and lower court nominees, as opposed to the previous standard of three-fifths (usually equal to 60 votes). According to the president, the new rules will improve the legislative process.
“If you’ve got a majority of folks who believe in something, then it should be able to pass,” he said. “The gears of government have to work. And the step that the majority of senators took today, I think, will help make those gears work just a little bit better.”
Video of President Obama’s statement is below: