Senate Nears Showdown Over 'Nuclear Option'03:54
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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. (AP)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. (AP)

This week in the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid may use the so-called "nuclear option" to push through stalled presidential nominations.

The option would allow Reid to end filibusters of executive branch nominees with only a majority — 51 votes — rather than 60.

NPR's Charlie Mahtesian explains what that could mean for the future of filibusters and the minority party.

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This segment aired on July 15, 2013.

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