No one should be the least bit surprised; Reid’s been talking about this for awhile, and even moved unilaterally to alter long-standing Senate rules to shield his members from difficult votes last year (mission accomplished). Filibuster “reform:” Coming soon to a Senate near you?
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday that he will try to push through a change to Senate rules that would limit the GOP’s ability to filibuster bills. Speaking in the wake of Tuesday’s election, which boosted Senate Democrats’ numbers slightly, Mr. Reid said he won’t end filibusters altogether but that the rules need to change so that the minority party cannot use the legislative blocking tool as often. “I think that the rules have been abused and that we’re going to work to change them,” he told reporters. “Were not going to do away with the filibuster but we’re going to make the Senate a more meaningful place.” Republicans, who have 47 of the chamber’s 100 seats in this current Congress, have repeatedly used that strong minority to block parts of President Obama’s agenda on everything from added stimulus spending to his judicial picks.
A filibuster takes 60 senators to overcome it. Leaders of both parties have been reluctant to change the rules because they value it as a tool when they are in the minority. But Mr. Reid said things changed over the last few years when he repeatedly faced off against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, who had said his chief political goal was defeating Mr. Obama. Mr. Reid said that led the GOP to abuse the filibuster.