Hopefully

01.22.13

Filibuster Reform is (Practically) Dead

The Hill's Alexander Bolton reports that the Senate will live on as a continuing body, Harry Reid will decline to exercise the constitutional option, and the talking filibuster is no longer on the table. In short, we're getting a very watered down version of what could have been a major step in pushing the Senate down the road to a parliamentary body.

Greg Sargent laments:

[I]n the name of Senate comity, we’ll get weaker reforms that will only make it easier for the opposition to block the will of the majority for purely partisan purposes.

"Block" is such a strong word. All Democrats have to do to prevent filibusters is convince five Republicans to join their vote. Is this not President Obama's bipartisan appeal? (But I digress). I'd have preferred reforms including a talking filibuster, but about 1,000 times less than the use of the constitutional option to force it through. And, for what it's worth, this New York Times editorial urging the use of the constitutional option illustrates quite nicely their distaste for a basic part of American politics.