Thu Jan 24, 2013, 08:46 PM
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Thu Jan 24, 2013, 08:54 PM
Tx4obama (36,974 posts)
3. Reid did NOT cave. He got the majority of what HE wanted.
Just because he did not go along with Merkley's plan does not mean that we didn't get good changes!
What will be reformed is how the Senate moves to consider new legislation, the process by which all nominees — except Cabinet-level appointments and Supreme Court nominations — are considered, and the number of times the filibuster can be used against a conference report.
…the deal Reid struck with McConnell doesn’t end the filibuster against the motion to proceed. Rather, it creates two new pathways for moving to a new bill. In one, the majority leader can, with the agreement of the minority leader and seven senators from each party, sidestep the filibuster when moving to a new bill. In the other, the majority leader can short-circuit the filibuster against moving to a new bill so long as he allows the minority party to offer two germane amendment that also can’t be filibustered. Note that in all cases, the minority can still filibuster the bill itself.
Full Ezra Klein Washington Post article here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/01/24/harry-reid-explains-why-he-killed-filibuster-reform/
Two of the things that Reid has been fighting against will be eliminated/fixed by the new rules.
I think even though these are modest changes they are going to be a big improvement
I've been following the judicial nominations for several years and the new change is going to be a HUGE help in getting them confirmed faster.
"... post cloture time for non appellate judges will be cut from 30 hours to 2 ... "
Also there will be NO more 'anonymous' holds/objections
Under the agreement, the minority party will be able to offer two amendments on each bill, a major concession to Republicans. This change is made only as a standing order, not a rules change, and expires at the end of the term.
The new rules will also make it easier for the majority to appoint conferees once a bill has passed, but leaves in place the minority's ability to filibuster that motion once -- meaning that even after the Senate and House have passed a bill, the minority can still mount a filibuster one more time.
Reid won concessions on district court nominations as well. Under the old rules, after a filibuster had been beaten, 30 more hours were required to pass before a nominee could finally be confirmed. That delay threatened to tie the chamber in knots. The new rules will only allow two hours to pass after cloture is invoked before a nominee is confirmed.
The two leaders agreed that they will make some changes in how the Senate carries out filibusters under the existing rules, reminiscent of the handshake agreement last term, which quickly fell apart. First, senators who wish to object or threaten a filibuster must actually come to the floor to do so. And second, the two leaders will make sure that debate time post-cloture is actually used in debate. If senators seeking to slow down business simply put in quorum calls to delay action, the Senate will go live, force votes to produce a quorum, and otherwise work to make sure senators actually show up and debate.
The arrangement between Reid and McConnell means that the majority leader will not resort to his controversial threat, known as the "nuclear option," to change the rules via 51 votes on the first day of the congressional session. Reid may have been able to achieve greater reforms that way, but several members of his own party were uncomfortable with the precedent it would have set. And Reid himself, an institutionalist, wanted a bipartisan deal for the long-term health of the institution. Reid presented McConnell with two offers -- one bipartisan accord consisting of weaker reforms, and a stronger package Reid was willing to ram through on a partisan vote. McConnell chose the bipartisan route.
Full article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/24/harry-reid-mitch-mcconnell-filibuster_n_2541356.html
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