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Reid to force votes on 17 Obama judges

(BLOOMBERG) — U.S. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid moved to require votes in coming days on 17 of President Barack Obama’s judicial nominees, escalating a fight with Republicans over confirmations.

“Republicans have prevented the Senate from doing its constitutional duty,” Reid of Nevada said on the Senate floor today. He said Republicans are holding up “consensus nominees,” including some approved unanimously by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Reid filed a motion to start a lengthy process for votes on the judicial nominations. His action follows failed talks with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, over a slate of nominees put forward for a vote. The Senate this year has confirmed seven federal judges.

Twenty-two judicial nominees are pending before the full Senate, and Reid is forcing votes on the 17 district court judges Obama has nominated.