Reid’s Options for Filibuster Reform

According to Politico, some type of filibuster reform is a near certainty for the Congressional session that begins next year:

Here’s what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is considering: banning filibusters used to prevent debate from even starting and House-Senate conference committees from ever meeting. He also may make filibusters become actual filibusters — to force senators to carry out the nonstop, talkathon sessions.

Republicans are threatening even greater retaliation if Reid uses a move rarely used by Senate majorities: changing the chamber’s precedent by 51 votes, rather than the usual 67 votes it takes to overhaul the rules.

The Hill describes the latter option thusly:

Under the [constitutional] option, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) would send to the Senate desk a resolution changing the rules and ask for it to be adopted immediately. The parliamentarian would rule the request out of order and then the presiding chair — likely Vice President Biden — would affirm or ignore the parliamentarian’s ruling.

The Senate could then uphold Reid’s move to change the rules with a simple majority vote.

Reid should go ahead and use the constitutional option to prevent any filibustering at all for awhile. But I think he’ll opt for the tepid options instead. Eliminating the option to filibuster altogether in the Senate would be a pretty epic fuck-you to Republicans, but in my estimation it would not materially impact actual policy. And policy, not politics, is what we’re all concerned with around here, right?

11 notes


  1. politicaldesert reblogged this from andrewgraham
  2. cazort answered: Elimination of the filibuster is not a partisan issue in the long-term, only the short-term. I personally support eliminating the filibuster.
  3. hellengt answered: enãotendiqsefalo
  4. andrewgraham posted this

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