Chart of the Day

via Steve Benen at Maddowblog

Will Harry Reid push for filibuster reform in the next session of congress?

To achieve maximum political effect, I believe the right course of action would be to push immigration reform, and if the Republicans filibuster it, then push for filibuster reform.

Reid could come right out of the gate and push for filibuster reform, but the wiser political move would be to establish a clear contrast with the GOP before doing so. Don't give the Republicans cover before they have the opportunity to show their ass.

If the Republicans refuse to compromise on the impending arrival of sequestration (the "fiscal cliff") in the current lame duck session of congress, Harry Reid could also push for filibuster reform if they refuse to agree to a new middle class tax cut to replace the Bush Tax Cuts which will have expired.

Democrats have a lot of options and the Republicans have very few.

  • bphoon

    Don’t give the Republicans cover before they have the opportunity to show their ass.

    I don’t think that’s going to be a problem since, after all, they’re already going about the business of showing their ass as we speak.

  • I realize this won’t happen, but it seems fitting: One way to solve this is to require each senator to WIN his election by a supermajority – 60%, and if you don’t defeat the incumbent by that margin, the incumbent retains the seat – no matter what amount of the vote he/she gets. An incumbent gets 40.1%, challenger gets 59.9%, the incumbent retains the seat. I’ll bet ou hear a lot of bellyaching from a minority party!!

  • muselet

    From the link:

    Greg Sargent reported last week that half the chamber is now on record supporting filibuster reform, but The Hill reports this morning that proponents still have some work to do.

    “I haven’t counted 51 just yet, but we’re working,” said Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) said.

    The biggest stumbling block? There are Democrats who want to be able to use Republican tactics the next time there’s a GOP majority.

    We may get fillibuster reform this Congress, but I’m not holding my breath.


  • I’m no expert, but I thought that senate rule changes had to take place at the beginning of the session. Would that not preclude your proposal of bringing up immigration reform first?

    • ninjaf

      I was thinking the same thing.

    • i_a_c

      I third your concern. My understanding was that at the beginning of the session, rules could be changed with a simple majority.

    • D_C_Wilson

      They can still try to push it through in the lame duck session and then, if it’s filibustered, change the rules in January.

  • Michael Schwartz

    I may be alone on this, but I kinda think the Dems should sit on immigration reform for this next cycle. Now that the R’s really want the Latino vote back, lets let them stew in their bile for a few more years before letting them tack back to the center.

    • Scopedog

      Sounds like a good idea to me.

      One bit of concern–they (the GOP) could wheel around and try to pin the absence of immigration reform on the Democrats.