What Is the Nuclear Option?


Quick Answer

The nuclear option refers to the most extreme response that can be made to a specific situation. In the U.S. government, the nuclear option refers to the ability of the Senate to override a rule with a majority vote.

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Full Answer

One example of the government using the nuclear option involved a suggested vote to change the Senate's rules on confirming executive or judicial nominees in 2013. The change focused on decreasing the number of votes needed to confirm a nominee from 60 to 51, thereby allowing the majority party to control every vote without needing to compromise with the minority party.

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