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Republicans block Tulsa judicial nominee as senators point fingers over inaction

Tulsa attorney John E. Dowdell has bipartisan support in Congress for a district judgeship, but Republicans won't consider any of President Barack Obama's nominees until after the election.
by Chris Casteel Published: September 21, 2012
/articleid/3711539/1/pictures/1837426">Photo - John E. Dowdell
John E. Dowdell

Senators point fingers

Reid's last-ditch effort on the judicial nominees came just a few hours after Republican senators made a series of speeches attacking Obama and Reid for a lack of leadership and inaction on the nation's problems.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, one of about 30 senators who spoke, said the Senate, under Reid, was not confronting the hard decisions that had to be made.

Coburn said the Senate's failure to pass a plan addressing the nation's finances “is an absolute failure of leadership.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said, “Never before has a president and a Senate done so little to confront challenges so great.”

Reid and other Democrats responded that Republicans had blocked consideration of numerous bills and tried to attach unrelated amendments to others. The first amendment offered on the highway bill, Reid said, was a GOP one on family planning.

Republicans were now holding up consideration of the defense bill, he said. Reid also blamed House Republicans for not taking up legislation that the Senate had managed to pass, including a long-term farm bill.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the House would “deal with the farm bill after the elections.”

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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