Reid to Postpone Filibuster Changes

Reid to Postpone Filibuster Changes

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will postpone any attempts to alter the filibuster until the Senate resumes work again, which will most likely be on Jan. 22, after President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

A Democratic Senate aide said, “Reid is hoping to negotiate a standing order or rules change to improve the chamber’s efficiency when it resumes work.”

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), the Democratic Whip, said Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) may explore whether they could come to some sort of an agreement on the filibuster. 

“I think the conversation is going to continue between [Senate Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell and Harry Reid about this. I think they’re going to see if there’s a way to reach a bipartisan agreement, they’re still talking,” Durbin speculated. 

Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Carl Levin (D-MI) are proposing reforming the filibuster for two years and having the reforms sunset after then. 

According to The Hill, the proposal would:

…make it easier for the majority leader to take up new business by empowering him to deny the minority the ability to filibuster motions to proceed. In exchange, the leader would have to guarantee the minority leader and a bill’s minority manager each the right to offer an amendment, even an amendment on non-germane business.

Reid, on the other hand, could use the so-called “nuclear” or “Constitutional option” to change the “Senate’s filibuster rules with a simple majority vote,” 

This tactic has never been employed, and has been used by the majority party to gain concessions from the minority party, which Reid will most likely attempt to do.