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Monday, July 15, 2013

Filibuster change: the countdown to a ‘Humpty Dumpty’ rules change

"I love the Senate, but right now the Senate is broken and needs to be fixed. It’s time for course correction." - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), speaking at the Center for American Progress, Monday morning

Something that could shake the bustling tunnels beneath the U.S. Capitol is about to be released by Sen. Reid - a recipe for ending the gridlock that is keeping President Obama's nominees to executive branch appointments from being confirmed by the United States Senate, under its constitutional obligation to advise and consent. Reid is holding fast to his threat to change the Senate rules regarding the filibuster, to make it easier for "whoever is president, [to] have the ability to pick their team."
Reid calls his plan "a minor change, no big deal." But many observers, even those who support filibuster reform, say the maneuver is a slippery slope, with cascading side effects that may be worse than the gridlock itself.
"Senator Reid would be opening a Pandora’s Box if the and the Democratic majority were violate the Senate rules by resorting to a subterfuge like the nuclear option to 'amend' the Senate rules," Emmet J. Bondurant, the lead attorney in a lawsuit against the U.S. Senate to end the filibuster on constitutional grounds, wrote to us in an email.
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