Harry Reid never really wanted to change the filibuster. He and Mitch McConnell reach a deal.



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Ed Schultz nailed it:

"How many elections, Harry do the Democrats have to win? How many mandates from the people have to be sent to Washington that we need to move forward on this? Why is the minority party running this country?"

Yesterday I posted Senator Durbin: Democrats lack votes to pass talking filibuster reform:

Harry Reid’s “deal” with Mitch McConnell would “prohibit filibusters on motions to proceed, address rules for sending bills to conference, and reduce the floor time required for nominees once the Senate has voted to end debate on them.” But no talking filibuster.

Here we go again, more endless obstruction of every bill, more obstruction of every Obama nominee, of everything and anything that Democrats would like to do to help this country move forward. More years of Republicans making a mockery of what is supposed to be a democracy and a functioning government.

Thanks Harry.

 Sam Stein at HuffPo:

Progressive senators working to dramatically alter Senate rules were defeated on Thursday, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and his counterpart, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), set to announce a series of compromise reforms on the Senate floor that fall far short of the demands. The language of the deal was obtained by HuffPost and can be read here and here.

The pressure from the liberal senators, led by Oregon Democrat Jeff Merkley and backed by a major coalition of progressive groups, created the political space for Reid to cut the deal with McConnell, which includes changes to how the Senate operates but leaves a fundamental feature, the silent filibuster, in place.

So Senate business would speed up, but Democrats would still need 60 votes to end a filibuster. That's worked so well for us so far, hasn't it?

Ezra Klein:

But though Reid spoke admiringly of Udall and Merkley and even apologized for undercutting their previous reform efforts, he was never really on their team. “There are two camps here in terms of what the goals are,” says a leadership aide. “The upshot of the kind of reform that Merkley wants is to make legislation easier to pass. What the more veteran members, including Reid, have said all along is they’re mainly focused on making things work more efficiently. To put it bluntly, that’s about moving things more quickly.” [...]

Behind this debate, say multiple Senate staffers, is the simple fact that Reid and some of the other senior Democrats really don’t really want to change the filibuster. They remember being in the minority, they remember all the policies they blocked, and they prefer to keep the filibuster strong for the day they lose power. They’re frustrated by what they see as Republican overuse of the filibuster and they want to make the Senate work more efficiently, but they don’t particularly want to make it work very differently. It’s only if they come to believe that Republicans won’t, under any circumstances, allow the Senate to operate more efficiently that they’ll even consider making it work differently.

  • Yes if we lose the house & senate & presidency we'll just have to win the next election & undo the damage then I'd prefer that to never getting anything done when we are theoretically in charge.

  • David G

    Time for Harry to go.  He just plain lied.  DG

  • This might sound lame to fellow progressives, but I was worried about the "nuclear" option for ending the filibuster in the Senate.  We all know how the GOP has used this arcane rule to bog down progressive legislation for the past four years, but it's important to remember the damage that the majority can do if they're working for all of the wrong benefactors.  Consider a scenario in which the teabaggers are running the Senate, and just imagine the horrors they could inflict upon America if Dems were unable to filibuster their bullshit agenda.  It's tragic what the Republicans in the Senate are doing with the filibuster, but look at the House of Reprehensibles if you want an example of what a Tea Party majority in the Senate would look like.  Would we seriously want to be in a situation where THOSE asshats could just ram through any legislation they wanted without threat of a Democratic filibuster?