Senate leaders in both parties are brokering a deal to avert the so-called nuclear option Senate majority leader Harry Reid has threatened with regard to changing the body's filibuster rules. A Senate Republican aide confirms that the negotiated proposal between Reid and the GOP is well under way but will not include the requirement of a "talking filibuster"--a top priority of Oregon senator Jeff Merkley, a leader of the filibuster reform movement within the Senate.
Senate majority leader Harry Reid reiterated on Tuesday his plan to reform the rules of the Senate to weaken the filibuster and strengthen the majority party's power to move legislative debate forward. The Huffington Post reports:
For years, liberal pundits and Senate Democrats have talked about altering the filibuster, the procedural rule that requires a 60-vote supermajority to end debate in the U.S. Senate. The device has been a burden for majority leaders for generations, and it dogged Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama during the liberal bonanza that was the 111th Congress of 2009-2010.
Republicans now hold enough seats in the U.S. Senate to block any legislation Obama and the Senate Democrats propose. Overall, do you think this is (a good thing because it will force Obama and the Democrats to cooperate more with the Republicans); OR (a bad thing because it will enable the Republicans to set terms before allowing anything to go forward)?
Survey says: 57 percent think this is a good thing. Only 36 percent do not.
Legislative battles sometimes produce unlikely victims. After clashing with Republicans for months, Democrats appear poised to win a major partisan victory on health care.
Yet while triumph could be imminent, some liberal lawmakers and pundits want another scalp. Get rid of the Senate filibuster, they say. It’s an outmoded procedure that allows a minority of 41 votes to stop legislation.