TheDemocrats’majority in the Senate is on the line this electionseason, and if Republicans take back control, the GOP will needtodecide on new rules for the new Congress in the upper chamber. Some Republican members are willing to go back to way thingswerebefore Harry Reid took the gavel.
Inthe wake of the recent controversial nomination of Judge DavidBarron, author of the memo which gave a legal basis to killAmericansabroad with drones, to the first U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals,Republicans became apoplectic after getting word that SenateMajorityLeader Harry Reid threatened to change the filibuster rules onfederal nominees again to make the process favor the majorityfurther. Don Stewart, spokesman for Minority Leader MitchMcConnell, told Breitbart News on Wednesday that McConnell has already madeitclear that, should the Republicans take back the Senate, decisions onruleswill be made among conference members.
SenatorRandPaul (R-KY), known for his 13-hour filibuster last March againstCIA Director John Brennan, filibustered Barron on Wednesday, butas aresult of Reid’s recent rule change requiring only a simplemajority as opposed to 60 votes for nominees, his remarks werenotnearly as long.
“Irise today to oppose the nomination of anyone who would arguethatthe President has the power to kill American citizens notinvolved incombat,” Paul said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “Irise today to say that there is no legal precedent for killingAmerican citizens not directly involved in combat and that anynominee who rubber stamps and grants such power to a Presidentis notworthy of being placed one step away from the Supreme Court.”
Paullater told reporters, “Ultimately, you never stop any vote withafilibuster. You usually got something in exchange for making iteasy.So I’d rather have them all today. I’d rather have them all infive minutes. I don’t care to obstruct the process, but I docareto try to use what leverage I have to get something the vastmajorityof the public wants.”
Paullatertold Breitbart News that, if Republicans take the Senate nextyear, he would like to see the filibuster rules go back to a 60-votethreshold, saying, “I am a traditionalist. I do like theoriginalrules.”
RepublicanslikeSenators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John McCain (R-AZ) agreewith Paul regarding the steps the GOP should take with the rulesifthey capture the Senate’s majority.
“Changetherules back right away. I would change the rules back to have toget 60 votes to put the judge or an executive nominee. Why wouldwenot want that tool available to us? I think it would bepoliticalmalpractice of the Republican Party to not change the rules backandrequire 60 votes,” Graham told Breitbart News, noting Reid’spower grab “has turned the Senate into the House.”
McCainreferredto the late West Virginia Democratic Senator Bob Byrdsaying, “Oh yeah. We’ll change it back. We will change it backand go to regular order. We will allow amendments. We will dowhatRobert Byrd once said. ‘Every Senator should have the right topropose his or her amendment.'”
However,SenatorOrrin Hatch (R-UT) sees it differently from his colleagues, telling Breitbart News that Republicans are “too honorable” incircumstances like these.
“ButIwouldn’t mind them where they are, so we can teach a lesson tothose Democrats who have never been in minority what its like tobein the minority, how important those rules are,” Hatch said.invokingcloture so you’d go to the bill and get it done.”
Heexplained, “Both sides benefitted from it, and both sides hateditfrom time to time. It was a really important rule. The Democratsjustchanged it because most of them have never been in the minority, andthey just assume they’re going to be in the majority forever.”