The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 23, 2013

Reid says Senate Democrats may act on own filibusters

By Kathleen Hunter and Chris Strohm

Bloomberg News

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Wednesday said Democrats will pursue their plan to curb the use of filibusters to block legislation if the party and Republican lawmakers don’t reach agreement on the matter this week.

A majority of Democrats — at least 51 — will vote for some changes to the filibuster procedure, as long as those don’t include requiring senators to hold the floor by talking endlessly, Reid and Dick Durbin of Illinois, the chamber’s second-ranking Democrat, said in interviews Wednesday.

Specifically, 51 Democrats would vote to eliminate the use of the filibuster on motions to proceed to legislation, Durbin said. There would also be majority support for limiting, or disallowing altogether, use of the filibuster to block sending bills to conference with the House or limiting debate on judicial nominations, Durbin said.

Requiring senators who are filibustering to speak on the floor for up to 30 hours of debate time could also have majority support, Durbin said.

Durbin didn’t say whether there would be enough support to pass a proposal by Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., that would require at least 41 senators to cast votes to keep a filibuster going. That change, which he called the “Franken- wrinkle,” would reverse the current process that requires those seeking to end a filibuster to record 60 votes.

Reid, D-Nev., said he is waiting for a response from Republican leader Mitch McConnell before determining how to act on the procedural issue.

Reid told reporters Tuesday he would wait 24 to 36 hours to see if a bipartisan agreement could be reached. “If not, we’re going to move forward on our own,” Reid told reporters.

Reid wants to curtail the minority party’s use of the filibuster that requires the supermajority of 60 votes to advance or pass legislation, rather than a 51-vote majority of the 100-member Senate. Democrats currently control 55 votes to 45 for the Republicans, meaning that when a filibuster is invoked they need five Republican votes to advance legislation. Reid contends changes are needed to keep Republicans from obstructing bills.

Text Only
  • With 1 week to go, Sanford subject of attacks

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford can’t seem to escape attacks on the extramarital affair that derailed his political career, which he hopes to revive in a special congressional election that is now a week away.

    May 1, 2013

  • Bombing shifts Mass. Senate race before primaries

    BOSTON — Even before the explosions, polling suggested that Massachusetts voters weren’t excited about the looming special election to replace former U.S. Sen. John Kerry.

    April 28, 2013

  • In a first, black voter turnout rate passes whites

    WASHINGTON — America’s blacks voted at a higher rate than other minority groups in 2012 and by most measures surpassed the white turnout for the first time, reflecting a deeply polarized presidential election in which blacks strongly supported Barack Obama while many whites stayed home.

    April 28, 2013

  • Senate Democrats put off vote on Labor nominee

    WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats have delayed a confirmation vote on Labor Secretary-nominee Thomas Perez after Republicans threatened to use a separate hearing to criticize his handling of a whistleblower case.

    April 24, 2013

  • Sen. Baucus' decision to retire sets stage for majorlegislative changes

     Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., one of the most influential congressional figures of his era, announced his intention Tuesday to retire, a move that could produce sweeping changes in the political and legislative landscape over the next two years.

    April 24, 2013

  • Senate friendship born of tragedy beat partisanship

    These days, most dispatches from Washington focus on petty partisanship, posturing, impasses and a political culture that rewards confrontation.

    April 22, 2013

  • Rubio rising

    If Marco Rubio helps pass comprehensive immigration reform, he will have accomplished more as a senator than Barack Obama did.

    April 22, 2013

  • Gun Bill's Failure May Help Immigration Legislation

    WASHINGTON — Here's an odd political reality: The collapse of the gun bill in the Senate last week may well make the passage of immigration reform legislation slightly easier.

    April 21, 2013

  • Senate Planning Vote on Internet Sales Tax

    WASHINGTON — The days of tax-free online shopping could finally be numbered.

    April 21, 2013

  • Advocates of Immigration Reform Fight Back Against Push for Delay

    WASHINGTON — The Senate's leading supporters of overhauling the nation's immigration system sought Sunday to blunt a conservative effort to slow the pace of debate over their bill, saying the Boston Marathon bombings are a reason to move quickly to make changes.

    April 21, 2013

Featured Ads
Politics Video