Longest Day For Filibuster Reform

In case you’ve been wondering, as I have, why there wasn’t more talk about Harry Reid imposing filibuster reform via a first-day-of-the-session change in the Senate rules (particularly in wake of the unsatisfying legislative alternatives, which either exaggerate or ignore the significance of “talking filibusters”), here’s an answer from WaPo’s Greg Sargent:

Democrats familiar with the situation say they expect Harry Reid to privately negotiate a final package of reforms with Mitch McConnell, with an eye towards bringing it to the floor as soon as tomorrow. An alternate scenario, I’m told, is that Dems recess tomorrow, which would extend the current legislative day (the first of the new Congress), allowing reforms to be introduced when the Senate returns from recess in several weeks.

I’d prefer that Reid “ram through” new rules without a deal with McConnell–i.e., deploy the “nuclear option,” since anything McConnell will agree to is unlikely to do much good. But perhaps the “extend the day” gimmick will at least allow genuine supporters of filibuster reform the time to get their act together and agree on the strongest possible set of proposals.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.