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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/23/13

Will Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats Reform the Filibuster Today? (UPDATE)

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Reid may still invoke the "nuclear option" on the filibuster/AP Photo




Last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, "We'll consider changes in the Senate rules" acknowledging it may not happen immediately (specifically rules changes to the filibuster).

Reid offered a "fig leaf" to the Republicans saying, "I'm hopeful and cautiously optimistic that the Republican leader and I will reach an agreement that allows the Senate to operate more effectively", to which Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell opined, "The Senate isn't functioning as it should. And it has nothing to do with a process that has served us well for a very long time." McConnell blamed the stalemate of the last two years in Congress on President Obama focusing on his re-election campaign and Senate Democrats "avoiding tough decisions," (well so much for Reid's "hope and optimism" of reaching an "agreement" with McConnell on filibuster reform).

Reid did keep the Senate's "opening day" in "recess" so rules changes can still be approved. He forecast the rules "discussion" would occur "later this month".


Dysfunction, obstructionism, beholden to big moneyed interests donating to their campaigns giving at least the appearance of corruption as well as arcane procedural rules have long characterized the U.S. Senate.

It's possible the dysfunction and obstructionism "could" be overcome today [i] if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Democratic majority vote to change the rules and bring filibuster reform to the Senate.

Reid was able to put the new Senate's opening day of January 3 rd in "recess" thus allowing that opening day to "rollover". This was critical as any new Senate rules must be approved before the opening day's session is officially ended.  

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