Harry Reid Goes Nuclear
"Reid triggers nuclear option to change rules, prohibit filibusters," The Hill reports:
Reid appealed a ruling from the chair that Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) does not need consent to force a vote on a motion to suspend the rules to consider an amendment after cloture has already been approved.
The maneuver is highly arcane but momentous. If a simple majority of the Senate votes to uphold Reid’s appeal, the Senate’s rules will have been changed by the unilateral action of one party.
Republicans had considered using this maneuver, dubbed the “nuclear option” in 2005, to change Senate rules to prohibit the filibuster of judicial nominees. Democrats decried the plan and the crisis was resolved by a bipartisan agreement forged by 14 rank-and-file senators known as the Gang of 14.
Drew M. at Ace of Spades adds:
Just got an email from someone in the Senate. It's not the filibuster but the ability to change the Senate rules by simple majority vote (instead of 2/3s vote). The rule they are trying to change has to do with the ability to close off the option of offering amendments.
Reid's maneuver works. The precedent has been set that Senate rules can be changed by majority vote.
This means the Senate rules can be changed by majority vote.
So, the GOP wins the Senate in '12, nukes the filibuster and then repeals ObamaCare?
This is pretty crazy and it's going to take some time to sort out.
Steven J. Duffield, past policy director to Sen. Jon Kyl posits on Twitter, "Reid's parliamentary power grab was NOT done to advance bills, but to protect weak Dem senators from awkward votes. *Not* abt lawmaking." Lachlan Markey of the Heritage Foundation adds, "Methinks Reid may regret that move in, oh, about 13 months."
I'm sure my fellow Tatler contributors will have more as it comes in.
(Cross-posted at Ed Driscoll.com)