The Alaska Young Republicans are going after Republican Senate candidates for their silence on U.S. Sen. Mark Begich’s vote on Thursday to change the Senate filibuster rules. So far, none of the three main Republican candidates — Joe Miller, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, Dan Sullivan—have condemned Begich’s vote.
“While Senator Begich’s position is not surprising to those closely following his positions on important Constitutional issues, we are surprised and appalled that none of the Republican candidates for US Senate in Alaska have released any statements condemning Senator Begich’s disgraceful stance,” the group said in a press release.
Thursday’s vote, which passed 52-48, allows nominations to executive branch and judicial nominations to proceed with a simple majority, or 51 votes. It does not affect Supreme Court nominees or any legislation. It will, however, likely affect the rest of Obama’s agenda, much of which, including the regulation of greenhouse gases, will play out in the courts.
Critics call the change a “power grab.” Supporters say the the change was necessary because Senate Republicans have been so intransigent that courts and agencies were suffering as a result.
So far, 79 Obama nominees have faced filibusters, more than double the 38 picks of President George W. Bush.
All but three Democrats—Sens. Carl Levin of Michigan, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Joe Manchin of West Virginia—voted for the change. Pryor and Manchin face tough reelections in their respective red states in 2014. Levin announced his retirement earlier this year.
The young Republicans also want the state party to speak up.
“As the next generation of local and national leaders, we cannot sit idly by as the Alaska Republican Party and our future candidates for office are quiet on issues of such gravity,” they wrote.
“We urge them to stand up for our state and hold Senator Begich accountable for his actions.”
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