IT'S TIME: Senate GOP ready to go nuclear on Democrat obstructionism

Confirming Trump's judicial and executive branch picks

Senate Republicans are intent on making it easier to confirm President Donald Trump's nominees. And they're going to make a move with or without Senate Democrats. The GOP is planning to cut debate time on some lower-level nominees and accelerate confirmation of Trump's judicial and executive branch picks, said Senate Rules Chairman Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)

"I expect we will move a bill through the committee sometime before the end of March," Blunt said. "Whether that's two weeks from now or mid-March, I don't know. But I think this is something we will deal with one way or another."

Blunt's timeline is less aggressive than one laid out by Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.), who last week suggested the rules change could be immediate. Republicans can invoke a unilateral rules change with a simple majority vote, also known as using the "nuclear option" if they can't get Democratic support.

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