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But things have been going so well until now

It waits to be seen what the outcome will be of the change in U.S. Senate rules ending the filibuster on executive and judicial appointments, but if angry Republicans are serious about their threats, things are going to get even worse on Capitol Hill. Who would have thought that was even possible two months ago.

Until Thursday, it took 60 votes to cut off filibusters that block presidential nominees. Now, it requires just a simple majority to bring a nomination forward.

“Today’s historic change to Senate rules escalates what is already a hyperpartisan atmosphere in Washington, which is already preventing Congress from addressing our nation’s most significant challenges,” said former Senator Olympia Snowe, a Republican, and former Representative Dan Glickman, a Democrat, in a joint statement from the Bipartisan Policy Center.

That’s unfortunate because it means progress on important pieces of legislation such as immigration reform, farm policy and reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act is less likely, if that’s possible. The budget? Debt ceiling? Perish the thought.

However, as angry as Republicans are, they are culpable for their predicament. For five years they have refused to allow confirmation votes on dozens of perfectly qualified candidates nominated by President Barack Obama. If not for this obstructionism, they would have no reason to complain.

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