US President Barack Obama speaks on the Senate 'Nuclear Option' in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House on November 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. The US Senate took the potentially explosive step Thursday of changing its rules to allow executive and lower court nominees to be approved by a simple majority vote (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says he supports move by Senate Democrats to make it harder for Republicans to block his nominees.
Obama spoke shortly after the Senate voted 52-48 to weaken the power of the filibuster. The rule change will make it harder for minority Republicans to block confirmation of the president's nominees for judges and other top posts.
Obama says the "unprecedented pattern of obstruction" in Congress has left Americans more frustrated with Washington than ever. He said the pattern "isn't normal" and isn't based on substantive differences over his nominees.
The president says that as a former senator, he values the chamber's powers. But he says some rules are now being used as a tool to "grind business to a halt."