Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 3, 2015

Reid Prepped Filibuster Showdown for Months (Updated)

Updated 12:12 a.m. | If you had to pick a single event that brought Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to the brink of using the “nuclear option” for executive branch nominees, look no further than Valentine’s Day.

The Nevada Democrat’s plan to pressure Republicans on their various filibuster attempts has its roots in the nomination of former Nebraska GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel to be Defense secretary. After that floor fight, senior Democrats began telegraphing, as early as March, their intentions to force a floor showdown.

Hagel’s nomination dropped just weeks after Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., agreed to forgo radical changes to filibuster rules in exchange for GOP assurances that blockades of nominees would be kept to a minimum. But almost as soon as Hagel was named, Republicans sought to delay a vote on their former colleague.

“If this is not a filibuster, I’d like to see what a filibuster is,” Reid said during consideration of Hagel.

Republicans were using the Hagel nomination as leverage to get answers from the Obama administration to a host of questions. That’s pretty standard practice, but the stall made Democrats rethink their earlier decision to sidestep the more extreme filibuster rules changes that many in the caucus had been pressing for.

Reid filed a cloture motion and set up a vote on Hagel’s nomination before the Presidents Day recess, to the anger of Republicans who said they had unanswered questions. Hagel fell just short of the 60-vote threshold.

“We do have an obligation of advise and consent — a constitutional responsibility — and we’re trying to carry this out,” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said during the Hagel debate. Hagel is now running the Pentagon, after winning confirmation shortly after the February break, but the episode stuck with Reid and other Democrats.

In March, Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., brought up the issue at a Democratic dinner in Brooklyn. Then, during an April interview with public radio in Nevada, Reid made a comment that might have been better delivered from the Senate floor.

“All within the sound of my voice, including my Democratic senators and the Republican senators who I serve with, should understand that we as a body have the power on any given day to change the rules with a simple majority, and I will do that if necessary,” Reid said.

At the time, both Reid and Schumer appeared to be more concerned about judicial nominations, given that their comments came after Republicans successfully blocked Caitlin J. Halligan’s nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Reid has backed away from the idea that he would change filibuster rules regarding judges, saying Monday that he has no plans to eliminate blockades on other Senate business.

But reading the tea leaves from Reid’s April radio interview, it was clear he had begun to find a new voice on the filibuster issue, at least as it pertained to nominations. The changes are wildly popular within his caucus, but Reid had repeatedly pulled back in the past. Even with the latest proposal on administration nominees, Reid latched onto the least explosive change to the rules.

And he argued Monday that doing away with filibusters of executive branch nominees amounts to a minor tweak in the Senate’s operating procedures, not a precursor to wholesale changes.

“My efforts are directed to save the Senate from becoming obsolete, to remain relevant and effective as an institution, and to do that, the Senate must evolve to meet the challenges of modern-day America. This is really a moment in history where circumstances dictate the need for change,” the Nevada Democrat said Monday morning, speaking to a large audience at an event hosted by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “Minor change, no big deal.”

Republican Jeff Flake of Arizona saw that quote and responded just hours later on the Senate floor.

“It is a big deal. It has the potential to change this institution in ways that are both hazardous and unforeseen,” Flake said. “The majority leader noted today that Senate rules have been changed 18 times in the past 36 years by a simple majority vote. There needs to be a qualifier here, a very big qualifier. This rule change will allow for the first time in Senate history majority-imposed cloture. That is not minor. That is a big deal.”

Work continued Monday afternoon to try to find a way out of the procedural dispute before a series of votes set for Tuesday. Those nomination votes are intended to test whether Republicans will truly filibuster recess-appointed nominees to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Labor Relations Board.

Senators from both parties huddled behind closed doors in the Old Senate Chamber for more than three-and-a-half hours Monday evening, trying to work out a last-ditch deal. While they emerged without one, some senators did express optimism that a filibuster on Richard Cordray to head the CFPB might be averted in the first of seven test votes scheduled for Tuesday morning.

Cordray’s nomination is slated to come up first on Tuesday, and sources said Cordray’s chances of drawing the 60 votes needed to beat back a filibuster had improved. But the NLRB nominees remained sticking points after the meeting, and Reid showed no signs of letting up the pressure on Republicans when he spoke to reporters late Monday evening.

Appearing briefly before cameras, Reid said, “We had a very good conversation. The conversation is going to continue tonight. Votes are scheduled for 10 in the morning.” (Later, Senate aides said votes would most likely come around 11 a.m., after the 10 a.m. swearing-in of Sen.-elect Ed Markey, D-Mass.)

But the chances of a compromise seemed slim. Earlier in the day, Reid was in no mood for a “gang” of senators working out a compromise that fell short of seeing seven executive nominees sail to confirmation.

“There have been gangs forming on this issue for a while,” Reid said Monday. “My caucus supports where we are. I’m not concerned about gangs. That’s gotten a little passe, frankly.”

The “no big deal” posture is the opposite of the position taken by Republican critics in recent weeks, including Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who has said the move could send the Senate down an inevitable path of becoming a majoritarian body like the House. In a clear shot at Reid, Alexander put building the nuclear repository at Yucca Mountain, Nev., near the top of his list of priorities for a GOP-led Senate.

On Monday, Reid called the Republican suggestions a bluff.

“If they get in, if they want to change rule by a simple majority, more power to them. I think … they would rue the day they did it. They don’t — they’re not gonna do that,” Reid surmised. “We’re not gonna do that. It’s all, you know, the sky is falling.”

Comments (59)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. Charles Wolf

    July 16, 2013
    4:10 a.m.

    I still think Reid will fold like a birthday card but…
    …if he plays this right he will make the turtle look like an evil obstructionist & possibly get rid of the jerk in the Nov. 2014 elections..

  2. Rick Caird

    July 16, 2013
    3:48 p.m.

    Harry Reid is a short term thinker. If he thinks these nominations are worth blowing up the Senate, then he will be made to pay for that. Not only will the Senate slow down, but I expect the House will be working with the Republican Senators. In any event, when the Republicans do win the majority in the Senate, they can publicly thank “Harry Reid for the technique that made this vote possible”. Posterity will note it was Harry Reid that blew up the Senate. That will be his legacy and Nevada will suffer.

  3. Minicapt

    July 16, 2013
    9:35 p.m.

    Someone should remind Senator Harry that there is a first time for everything: “Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behavior, and, with the Concurrence of two-thirds, expel a Member.”

    Cheers

  4. Micha_Elyi

    July 17, 2013
    8:30 a.m.

    ““We do have an obligation of advise and consent — a constitutional
    responsibility — and we’re trying to carry this out,” Sen. John McCain,
    R-Ariz., said during the Hagel debate.”

    You’re wrong again, Sen. McCain. The President is the one with the obligation, not the US Senate. It’s up to the President to try to obtain the Senate’s advice and consent. And the President has no guarantee that the Senate will give it.

    Back to junior high school civics class for you, Sen. McCain! (Like Obama, McCain was mostly schooled outside the US. Strange, but true. It’s as if their brothers from different mothers.)

    It’s time for McCain to go into a quiet retirement. Buh-bye.

  5. become a personal trainer uk

    June 27, 2015
    12:04 p.m.

    good day, glorious blog on greasy loss. such a person helped.

  6. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    9:32 a.m.

    There may be noticeably a bundle to learn about this. I assume you made certain nice points in features also.

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  7. Anonymous

    July 9, 2015
    6:21 a.m.

    Appreciate it for this post, I am a big big fan of this internet site would like to proceed updated.

    https://bitly.com/u/infoasistencia

  8. Anonymous

    July 11, 2015
    9:51 a.m.

    Very good written story. It will be valuable to anyone who usess it, including yours truly :). Keep doing what you are doing – looking forward to more posts.

    http://ekklesiaonlineforum.net/index.php?action=profile;u=4299

  9. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    2:31 p.m.

    I’ve been surfing online greater than three hours nowadays, yet I never found any fascinating article like yours. It is lovely worth sufficient for me. Personally, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content material as you probably did, the internet shall be much more useful than ever before. “I thank God for my handicaps, for through them, I have found myself, my work and my God.” by Hellen Keller.

    http://homeownersinsurancem.com/amica-car-and-home-insurance.html

  10. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    3:45 p.m.

    I am glad to be a visitor of this sodding blog! , thanks for this rare info ! .

    http://homeownersinsurancem.com/amica-car-and-home-insurance.html

  11. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    6:06 p.m.

    I was very pleased to find this web-site.I wanted to thanks for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you blog post.

    http://www.wat.tv/video/salon-massage-naturiste-massage-79q5z_79q5x_.html

  12. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    8:42 p.m.

    I’m still learning from you, as I’m trying to achieve my goals. I certainly liked reading everything that is written on your website.Keep the tips coming. I loved it!

    http://www.wat.tv/video/salon-massage-naturiste-massage-79q5z_79q5x_.html

  13. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    8:42 p.m.

    I truly appreciate this post. I have been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You’ve made my day! Thx again

    http://www.wat.tv/video/salon-massage-naturiste-massage-79q5z_79q5x_.html

  14. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    11:04 p.m.

    I’d have to examine with you here. Which is not one thing I usually do! I take pleasure in reading a post that may make folks think. Additionally, thanks for permitting me to comment!

    http://vimeo.com/126527913

  15. Anonymous

    July 14, 2015
    1:11 a.m.

    Having read this I thought it was very informative. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this article together. I once again find myself spending way to much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!

    http://vimeo.com/126527913

  16. Anonymous

    July 17, 2015
    5:49 a.m.

    Hello! I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.

    https://www.udemy.com/u/monroe-murphy/

  17. Anonymous

    July 17, 2015
    7:45 a.m.

    It¦s in reality a nice and useful piece of information. I am glad that you shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

    https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/profiles/temple38india

  18. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    4:07 a.m.

    With havin so much content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright infringement? My site has a lot of completely unique content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my agreement. Do you know any techniques to help prevent content from being stolen? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

    http://omeka.org/forums/profile/crush06tent

  19. Anonymous

    July 19, 2015
    8:17 a.m.

    Usually I don’t read post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very compelled me to try and do so! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thanks, quite great article.

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  20. Anonymous

    July 19, 2015
    11:36 a.m.

    Hello.This article was really motivating, especially because I was searching for thoughts on this matter last Saturday.

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  21. Anonymous

    July 20, 2015
    4:13 p.m.

    I believe you have observed some very interesting points, thankyou for the post.

    http://brookereviews.com/product/children-learning-reading-program-jim-yang-review-legit-scam/

  22. Anonymous

    July 20, 2015
    7:58 p.m.

    I discovered your blog site on google and check a few of your early posts. Continue to keep up the very good operate. I just additional up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Seeking forward to reading more from you later on!…

    http://quotesautoinsurance.org/auto-insurance-quotes-without-personal-information.html

  23. Anonymous

    July 20, 2015
    11:30 p.m.

    I’m still learning from you, as I’m making my way to the top as well. I certainly liked reading everything that is written on your site.Keep the tips coming. I loved it!

    http://lowcostautoquotes.com/home-insurance.html

  24. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    3:59 a.m.

    Merely wanna comment that you have a very nice internet site, I like the style and design it really stands out.

    http://lowcostautoquotes.com/home-insurance.html

  25. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    4:17 a.m.

    Wow! This could be one particular of the most helpful blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Wonderful. I’m also a specialist in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

    http://split.us

  26. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    9:02 a.m.

    naturally like your web site however you need to test the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very troublesome to inform the truth nevertheless I’ll definitely come again again.

    http://split.us

  27. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    4:14 p.m.

    I’ll immediately grab your rss as I can’t find your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please permit me understand in order that I may just subscribe. Thanks.

    https://bestplumbers.com

  28. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    8:31 p.m.

    The other day, while I was at work, my sister stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a thirty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

    https://bestplumbers.com

  29. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    9:53 a.m.

    Howdy are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own. Do you need any html coding knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!

    http://bathmatehydromax-x30.weebly.com/blog/tips-zakar-kuat-perkasa-segar-panjang-dan-kental

  30. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    4:13 p.m.

    Pretty! This was a really wonderful post. Thank you for your provided information.

    https://community.intuit.com/users/3464720-blakenoel1122

  31. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    10:42 p.m.

    Excellent read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing some research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Therefore let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch! “It is impossible to underrate human intelligence–beginning with one’s own.” by Henry Adams.

    http://jmccred1.hospedagemdesites.ws/wiki/index.php?title=Sbi_Home_Loan_General_Insurance_Calculator

  32. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    2:05 p.m.

    Hmm it seems like your website ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any helpful hints for newbie blog writers? I’d definitely appreciate it.

    http://www.warriorforum.com/showthread.php?t=1094532

  33. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    8:14 p.m.

    My brother recommended I would possibly like this blog. He was once entirely right. This publish truly made my day. You cann’t believe just how so much time I had spent for this info! Thank you!

    http://brookereviews.com/product/canada-pet-care-review-complaints-and-coupon-code-10-things-you-should-know-about-canadapetcare-com/

  34. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    7:47 a.m.

    Its excellent as your other posts : D, thankyou for putting up.

    http://domweselnywarszawa.eu/

  35. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    12:16 p.m.

    Great goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely excellent. I actually like what you’ve acquired here, really like what you’re saying and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it sensible. I can’t wait to read much more from you. This is really a tremendous website.

    http://wesele-w-palacu.waw.pl

  36. Anonymous

    Aug. 2, 2015
    5:16 p.m.

    hello!,I like your writing so much! share we communicate more about your post on AOL? I need a specialist on this area to solve my problem. Maybe that’s you! Looking forward to see you.

    http://www.consultdustry.com/vacancies/

  37. Anonymous

    Aug. 3, 2015
    1:25 p.m.

    Thanks , I have just been searching for information about this topic for ages and yours is the best I have discovered till now. But, what about the conclusion? Are you sure about the source?

    http://workathome481.com

  38. Anonymous

    Aug. 4, 2015
    8:56 p.m.

    What i do not realize is in reality how you’re no longer really a lot more smartly-appreciated than you might be now. You’re very intelligent. You recognize therefore considerably in terms of this subject, made me for my part believe it from so many various angles. Its like women and men are not interested until it¦s something to do with Girl gaga! Your personal stuffs outstanding. All the time deal with it up!

    http://www.teenchoiceawards2015live.com/

  39. Anonymous

    Aug. 6, 2015
    8:25 a.m.

    I have been exploring for a little bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts on this sort of space . Exploring in Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon this web site. Reading this information So i’m happy to convey that I have a very excellent uncanny feeling I found out exactly what I needed. I most indubitably will make sure to don’t overlook this site and give it a look regularly.

    http://quotesautoinsurance.org/compare-auto-insurance-rates-by-zip-code.html

  40. Anonymous

    Aug. 6, 2015
    9:58 a.m.

    Enjoyed reading this, very good stuff, regards. “All things are difficult before they are easy.” by John Norley.

    http://quotesautoinsurance.org

  41. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    1:46 a.m.

    Thanks for any other informative site. The place else could I get that type of information written in such an ideal means? I have a venture that I’m just now working on, and I have been on the look out for such information.

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  42. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    3:18 a.m.

    hello!,I like your writing very so much! percentage we be in contact more about your article on AOL? I require an expert in this house to unravel my problem. Maybe that is you! Having a look ahead to peer you.

    http://quotesautoinsurance.org

  43. Anonymous

    Aug. 9, 2015
    5:36 p.m.

    Helpful information. Lucky me I found your web site by accident, and I’m surprised why this coincidence didn’t came about earlier! I bookmarked it.

    http://best-home-based-business-idea.com/how-to-build-a-container-home-review-warren-thatcher-11-features-you-should-know/

  44. Anonymous

    Aug. 10, 2015
    5:24 a.m.

    Some times its a pain in the ass to read what blog owners wrote but this internet site is really user genial! .

    http://dnvappliance.com

  45. Anonymous

    Aug. 10, 2015
    3:08 p.m.

    Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently quickly.

    http://www.thewalkingdeadseason6live.com/

  46. Anonymous

    Aug. 11, 2015
    2:39 p.m.

    I have been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.

    http://refrigerator-repair-oc.com/sub-zero-refrigerator-repair/

  47. Anonymous

    Aug. 12, 2015
    4:01 p.m.

    I am impressed with this web site, rattling I am a fan.

    http://topcheapinsurance.com/companies-insurance-united-states.html

  48. Anonymous

    Aug. 17, 2015
    6:46 p.m.

    I have read several good stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how much effort you put to create such a magnificent informative site.

    https://www.rebelmouse.com/wendylederman/now-it-is-your-chance-to-buy-engagement-rings-in-charlotte-1285087111.html

  49. Anonymous

    Aug. 19, 2015
    9:43 a.m.

    Thanks , I have just been searching for info about this topic for ages and yours is the greatest I have came upon till now. However, what concerning the bottom line? Are you sure about the source?

    http://listdomikolaja.blox.pl/2015/06/Jak-napisac-list-do-Swietego-Mikolaja.html

  50. Anonymous

    Aug. 19, 2015
    10:29 a.m.

    Just a smiling visitant here to share the love (:, btw great layout. “Reading well is one of the great pleasures that solitude can afford you.” by Harold Bloom.

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  51. Anonymous

    Aug. 23, 2015
    7:12 p.m.

    Once I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now each time a remark is added I get 4 emails with the same comment. Is there any approach you may remove me from that service? Thanks!

    http://www.superbowl.com.tw

  52. Anonymous

    Aug. 24, 2015
    2:06 a.m.

    Some really great information, Gladiolus I detected this. “Without discipline, there’s no life at all.” by Katharine Hepburn.

    http://homeownersinsurancem.com/geico-insurance-quotes.html

  53. Anonymous

    Aug. 24, 2015
    10:32 a.m.

    Very good info can be found on site. “The greatest mistake is trying to be more agreeable than you can be.” by Walter Bagehot.

    http://quotesautoinsurance.org/primerica-insurance.html

  54. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    12:33 p.m.

    What i do not understood is if truth be told how you’re no longer actually a lot more smartly-liked than you might be now. You’re very intelligent. You understand therefore significantly on the subject of this topic, produced me individually believe it from numerous various angles. Its like men and women are not fascinated until it is one thing to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your personal stuffs excellent. At all times deal with it up!

    http://newsocialbookmarking.asia/story.php?title=httpelfisanta-fr-5#discuss

  55. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    7:49 p.m.

    Respect to author, some great selective information.

    http://topcheapinsurance.com/travelers-home-and-auto-insurance.html

  56. Anonymous

    Aug. 26, 2015
    12:56 p.m.

    I really like foregathering useful info, this post has got me even more info! .

    http://quotesautoinsurance.org/pemco-insurance.html

  57. Anonymous

    Sept. 1, 2015
    3:52 p.m.

    Howdy! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay. I’m undoubtedly enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

    https://instagramtakipciturkiye.com/

  58. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    1:54 a.m.

    I like the efforts you have put in this, appreciate it for all the great content.

    http://parc-life-ec.com/

  59. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    7:59 p.m.

    Keep functioning ,splendid job!

    http://www.lowcostautoquotes.com

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...