McConnell tells GOP senators he has the votes for ‘nuclear option’ to speed nominations process

(CNN)Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told the Senate Republican Conference on Tuesday that he now has the votes to invoke the so-called nuclear option to significantly cut back the debate time on nominations, according to a person with direct knowledge of the remarks. The rule change would lower the debate time allowed once a filibuster has been defeated from 30 hours to two hours. The change would apply to almost all judicial and executive branch nominees but not those for high-level positions such as Cabinet officials, federal appellate court judges and the members of the Supreme Court. Democrats employed similar debate limits when they were last in the majority, ending in 2015, as they pushed through Obama administration nominations. But that …