CONSIDER THIS Senator Harry Reid being inspired by President Barack Obama’s Second Inaugural Address.
“I hope that within the next 24 to 36 hours we can get something we agree on. If not, we’re going to move forward on what I think needs to be done,” Reid told reporters. “The caucus will support me on that,” he added. [Huffington Post]
Reid said today that he has the 51 votes needed for filibuster reform, but while Huffington Post is reporting he’s ready to even use the “constitutional option” of changing the Senate rules without the two-thirds vote if he has to, other outlets like Politico report Reid is still considering that option, but hasn’t decided.
This is called by some, including reluctant Democrats, as the “nuclear option.” Those Democrats include, according to The Hill: Sens. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Max Baucus (Mont.), Carl Levin (Mich.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Mark Pryor (Ark.).
Sen. Mitch McConnell opined on the Senate floor that everything’s working just fine as it is. Sure, if you believe a majority is 60 and not 51 Senate votes.
…Reid is proposing a series of more modest changes that he believes would allow him to more quickly speed through legislation. He wants to eliminate filibusters used to prevent debate on legislation from starting. He also wants to end filibusters to prevent the Senate from entering talks with the House. And he’d like to pare back the use of filibusters on certain presidential nominations.
He’s also considering requiring 41 senators to vote to sustain a filibuster, a subtle shift from the current practice that requires 60 votes to break the stalling tactic. The proposed approach would shift the burden on the opposing party and force the opponents to ensure all their votes are present.