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Senate GOP to change rules to speed debate on nominations

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans frustrated at Democratic stalling tactics on President Donald Trump’s appointments are taking steps to change Senate rules to significantly shorten debate time on most nominees.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’s making the move in response to “unprecedented obstruction” by Democrats, which has required Republicans to hold time-consuming procedural votes on 128 of Trump’s nominees.

The Kentucky Republican set up a vote next week on a rules change that would limit debate on most nominees to four hours instead of the 30 hours now required. Cabinet secretaries, Supreme Court nominations, and appeals court judges would be exempted from the new rules.

To implement the change involves a power play by McConnell, who plans on using an arcane procedural move to power the new rules past a Democratic filibuster.

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