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?

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  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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