Rachel Maddow: “Harry Reid decided he would… make a handshake deal with the Republican’s top senator, Mitch McConnell. He said he was ‘satisfied’ with the Republicans just ‘agreeing’ to be more reasonable… Remember? … They would just agree as ‘gentlemen’ that the Republicans would ‘curtail the excesses’ of filibustering everything, and effectively ruling from the minority. … They said, you know, at a minimum this will at least improve the confirmation process for the administration’s nominees. How’s that working out now?… How’s that ‘gentleman’s agreement’ going now that we’ve just had a filibuster of a cabinet nominee for the first time in American history?“
Apparently, some Senate Democrats are asking themselves and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid the same question.
Again, under Merkley’s plan for reform, the filibuster wouldn’t have ended and the Dems would still be able to use the option to filibuster when they are the minority party. It would have taken more effort and transparency to voice opposition, but the filibuster would have remained intact.
Some Senate Democrats think Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) should revisit filibuster reform if Republicans continue to block Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s pick for secretary of Defense. [...]
[S]ome Democrats say Reid still has the option of changing the rules for the 113th Congress and should consider doing so if Republicans continue to hold up what in past years would have been considered routine business.
The Senate has never used a filibuster to reject a cabinet nominee– and the GOP also threatened to filibuster Richard Cordray, the president’s pick to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau– so why shouldn’t the “nuclear option” be considered? One “first” to counter another, tit for tat. As for Reid breaking his word to Mitch McConnell, it’s pretty obvious that McConnell has already abused their handshake agreement.
George Kohl, senior director at Communications Workers of America, said Reid “reserved the right to reconsider the rules if they continue to obstruct. If they continue to go down that path I think he’ll have to reconsider options he would like not to exercise.”
I’m not holding my breath.