February 13, 2015

HARRY REID OPENED PANDORA’S BOX: House conservatives push McConnell to gut filibuster.

A growing number of House GOP conservatives are pressuring Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday to invoke the “nuclear option” and change the chamber’s rules to pass a bill defunding President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

Reps. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) and Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) said McConnell should change Senate rules, so the House-passed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding bill, which includes language to revoke Obama’s immigration-related actions, can bypass a Democratic filibuster in the upper chamber.

Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) also endorsed the idea at a Thursday news conference. He said there’s a “way to change the rules to allow us to move forward” and “take away the ability to filibuster.”

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) was the first House Republican to advocate such a rules change Wednesday evening, arguing that now-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had established a precedent during his time in the majority.

Republican senators, however, immediately sought to quash the idea.

“The answer is not to change Senate rules,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said during the same news conference at which Mulvaney spoke. “The answer is for Senate Democrat not to be obstructionists.”

Well, I’m not super-confident of that. But then again, as they say, the value of the sword of Damocles is that it hangs, not that it falls. Perhaps the treat of taking Reid’s “nuclear option” to the next level will encourage cooperation. Though I doubt it.