Today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) threatened changes to the Senate filibuster system, which forces most measures to receive 60 votes in order to receive an actual vote. The filibuster has been a centuries-old constitutional traditional driving compromise rather than one-party rule. Reid now wants to change that – although when Republicans ran the Senate, he was one of the filibuster’s most ardent advocates.
“I and no one on the Democratic side has proposed getting rid of the filibuster,” said Reid. “Just that we do away with the filibuster on the motion to proceed.”
Of course, the goal of Reid’s new policy would be to force Republicans to filibuster legislative votes, rather than merely scheduling. That, in turn, would enable Reid to avoid negotiations before bringing a bill to the floor for a vote, putting pressure on Senate Republicans to cave, and helping Reid avoid having to schedule Republican amendments for votes to take place.