The Blog

Harry Reid Called Filibuster Reform He Now Supports 'Illegal' and 'Un-American'

12:57 PM, Nov 28, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Harry Reid was against the filibuster rule change before coming out for it. In 2005, when Republicans threatened to change the rules to weaken Senate Democrats, Reid was a vocal opponent. 

Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid, Bob Menendez, Dick Durbin

"For people to suggest that you can break the rules to change the rules is un-American," said Reid in 2005, in response to Republicans wanting to change the rules. "The only way you can change the rule in this body is through a rule that now says, to change a rule in the Senate rules to break a filibuster still requires 67 votes. You can't do it with 60. You certainly cannot do it with 51. But now we are told the majority is going to do the so-called nuclear option. We will come in here, having the Vice President seated where my friend and colleague from Nevada is seated. The Parliamentarian would acknowledge it is illegal, it is wrong, you can't do it, and they would overrule it. It would simply be: We are going to do it because we have more votes than you. You would be breaking the rules to change the rules. That is very un-American."

"The majority can't get what they want so they break the rules to change the rules. We believe the traditions of the Senate should be maintained. We believe if you are going to change the rules in the Senate, change them legally, not illegally," Reid added.

"They are talking about doing something illegal. They are talking about breaking the rules to change the rules, and that is not appropriate. That is not fair, and it is not right."

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, the leading Republican in the body, excoriated Reid for his proposed changes earlier today.

Reid "seeks to minimize concerns about this majoritarian power-grab by characterizing the effect as 'tiny,' as a 'minor change,' as changing Senate Rules just 'a little bit," McConnell said this morning.

The White House, just today, came out in favor of Reid's changes to the filibuster process.

"The President has said many times that the American people are demanding action," the White House told the Huffington Post. "They want to see progress, not partisan delay games. That hasn't changed, and the President supports Senator Reid's efforts to reform the filibuster process."

Recent Blog Posts

The Weekly Standard Archives

Browse 15 Years of the Weekly Standard

Old covers