Fri January 25, 2013
McConnell Campaign Taunts Liberals Over Filibuster Reform
In a message to supporters, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign is bragging after modest filibuster reforms were enacted in the U.S. Senate.
Several progressive groups along with liberal Democrats in the Senate had been pushing Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nv., to go with the "nuclear option" to overhaul the chamber's rules.
But Reid went for much weaker reforms, and the deal negotiated with McConnell speeds up the parliamentary process for new business, motion and debates.
The McConnell camp says that the GOP leader "beat the liberals" who were pushing for more drastic changes.
From Team Mitch:
A group of the Senate's most liberal Senators, fueled by left-wing groups like Move On, have been pushing a dangerous scheme to change the rules of the United States Senate and fundamentally alter the checks and balances of our system.
You see, they had been pushing a plan to end the filibuster, allowing Harry Reid and the Obama Democrats to pass their agenda with a simple majority.
Well, Mitch McConnell stood strong and stopped that scheme dead in its tracks.
The changes do not require Senators to speak on the floor to block legislation and still forces the majority party to round up 60 votes to break a filibuster. Both efforts to modify the filibuster were passed by overwhelming bipartisan votes.
"We all owe Leader McConnell a debt of gratitude today," McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton said in the e-mail message. "We won the first battle. But there will be many more to come."
Liberal observers had decried the gridlock in the Senate, pointing to the use of GOP filibusters—over 360 times—since 2007, and have criticized Reid for caving.