Harry Reid | News | Republican Party

Harry Reid Moves Toward 'Nuclear Option' on Filibuster Reform: VIDEO


This morning in the U.S. Senate, Harry Reid ripped the Republican party for its endless obstruction of appointments and judicial nominees. Reid is considering the "nuclear option" on filibuster reform "so that executive-branch appointments and most judicial nominees would only need 51 votes for confirmation. (Supreme Court nominees could still be blocked by filibuster.)" More on how that would be done here.

Watch Reid speak out on the Senate floor, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. wait...could it be? is that a backbone i see sprouting in senate democrats? surely it's my imagination...

    Posted by: northalabama | Nov 21, 2013 12:18:27 PM

  2. finally. thank you, sen. reid.

    Posted by: woody | Nov 21, 2013 12:20:31 PM

  3. Unless Democrats do great things during the rest of this term they are likely to be left without a majority and without filibuster. This would give Republicans free rein to do as they wish.

    Posted by: Rafael | Nov 21, 2013 12:28:01 PM

  4. They should have done it 4 1/2 years ago...

    Posted by: Gerry | Nov 21, 2013 12:29:21 PM

  5. Eh. Reid has been threatening this (always in a grandstanding manner) every few months or so and nothing ever comes of it. I expect nothing this time either.

    Posted by: dw | Nov 21, 2013 12:51:58 PM

  6. The filibuster should be done away with. It wastes time and money and does not serve the American people nor the creation of legislation in any way.

    Posted by: Jack M | Nov 21, 2013 12:52:43 PM

  7. Oh how the GOP will have fun with this once they inevitably regain the majority someday...

    Posted by: JohnAGJ | Nov 21, 2013 12:54:03 PM

  8. While this may seem like a good idea, you also have to consider what will happen if this rule is in place if the Republicans get back in power. The pendulum does swing back and forth. I've seen it do so many times in my lifetime.

    What do you think the future Republican majority would do with this power? Do you think they would limit this to only presidential nominations like the Democrats are proposing? Or do you think they would use it to ram through legislation that would throw us back to the 1950's?

    Think about what damage they could do to all the progress we have made if they could have a simple majority vote and undo anything.

    Reinstate DADT? No problem. Gut Social Security and Medicare? Sure why not, we need to balance the budget. Gut the ACA? I mean really, health care is not a right.

    It's terrifying to think what the Republicans would do with this kind of mob rule power.

    Posted by: Howard | Nov 21, 2013 12:54:22 PM

  9. Guess you've just been proved wrong, DW.

    Posted by: tbd | Nov 21, 2013 12:54:41 PM

  10. rafael, he's not proposing the end of the filibuster. he's only proposing that it be changed for executive and judicial nominees (and only judicial appointees below the supreme court level).
    this will help us a lot. we need obama appointees on the dc circuit court to safeguard many laws related to gay rights, women's rights, the environment, etc. These are laws republican appointees want to tear down.
    and i don't think the change will hamper democrats in the future all that much as we don't employ the filibuster to block appointments anywhere near as often as the GOP has been doing. they've made an everyday thing of what was previously recognized as an extraordinary recourse.

    Posted by: woody | Nov 21, 2013 12:56:06 PM

  11. The majority party always wants to get rid of the filibuster. In 2005, Democrats threatened to shut down the Senate in order to save the filibuster, and the people cheering today's move were cheering the opposite move in 2005. Rank partisanship. If it's worth saving when Democrats are the minority, then it's worth saving when Democrats are the majority. The converse is also true.

    Posted by: MikeSJ | Nov 21, 2013 12:56:25 PM

  12. the constitution itself nixes the filibuster

    an enumerated power of VP is to break tie votes 50/50 in the senate = auto negates the whole filibuster idea of needing more than 51 to pass anything

    the modern filibuster is unconstitutional

    Posted by: Moz's | Nov 21, 2013 1:07:33 PM

  13. It doesn't matter if the pendulum swings. Republicans already take things to extremes on their own. Let's say Democrats didn't use the nuclear option here, there is nothing that would stop the Republicans from first doing it themselves when/if they become the majority. WE shouldn't put up with ridiculous behavior just because we're scared of what might come.

    Posted by: jake | Nov 21, 2013 1:26:41 PM

  14. @ JAKE,

    I appreciate your comment. I didn't know how to phrase what I was feeling. You did for me. Thanks.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Nov 21, 2013 1:34:13 PM

  15. Republicans have used the filibuster many many more imps in recent history, than it's ever been used. Unprecedented. So why not blow it up? It's unconstitutional that we need supermajorities to do anything (when the Constitution requires it for treated and such only).

    We also need to get to the polls in large numbers in 2014, to give Obama the congress he needs to actually repair some of the damage that has been done by the Repulbicans, especially the teatards.

    Posted by: kdknyc | Nov 21, 2013 1:35:51 PM


    Posted by: woody | Nov 21, 2013 1:40:09 PM

  17. This is long overdue. We can not continue along the current course of the minority GOP blocking every single Obama nominee for no good reason. The GOP has openly admitted they have nothing personal against the nominees character, they just don't want Obama to do what he is constitutionally authorized to do as President. The GOP lost the elections.

    There is a vacancy crisis right now and these judicial posts must be filled!

    Posted by: NY2.0 | Nov 21, 2013 1:44:27 PM

  18. Its only going to polarize the Senate even more. Its going to go back to 60 or higher in 2015 if they lose the chamber.

    Posted by: Matt Munson | Nov 21, 2013 2:18:59 PM

  19. Matt

    all polls show the repubs NOT retaking the senate and very likely getting very close to loosing the house in 2014

    no worries

    Posted by: Moz's | Nov 21, 2013 2:25:40 PM

  20. “So this President has come to the majority here in the Senate and basically said, change the rules, do it the way I want it done. I guess there weren’t that many voices on the other side of the aisle that acted the way previous generations of senators have acted and said Mr. President we are with you, we support you, but that’s a bridge too far, we can’t go there. You have to restrain yourself Mr. President, we have confirmed 95% of you nominees and if you can’t get 60 for a nominee, maybe you should think about whom you are sending to us to be confirmed. “

    Hillary Clinton in 2005

    Posted by: WeHo | Nov 21, 2013 3:09:25 PM

  21. Do it or don't do it, Harry.
    Just stop talking about it.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Nov 21, 2013 3:12:35 PM

  22. He did it. He should have done it four years ago.

    Posted by: Len | Nov 21, 2013 3:31:37 PM

  23. Obama needs to renominate everyone that was filibustered and get started stacking the courts.

    Posted by: ny2.0 | Nov 21, 2013 4:57:21 PM

  24. Democrats have nominal power now & must use it.

    If & when the GOP elects a President (unlikely in the near future) plus a slight majority in the Senate, I'll bet my last nickel they'll use the "nuclear option" immediately, whether the Democrats back down now or not. They'll probably do it for ALL votes too, not just lower court & cabinet appointments.

    Personally, I would be fine if the filibuster was preserved, but ONLY if the members would be forced to actually DO a filibuster. They should be required to stand up there and talk non-sense for hours & make fools of themselves in front of the whole nation.

    Posted by: JonnyNYNY2FLFL | Nov 21, 2013 8:25:59 PM

  25. End minority rule. Americans should live with the consequences of our elections.

    Posted by: FFS | Nov 22, 2013 3:06:21 AM

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