Think Progress describes the proposal -- and loathesome counterproposal -- in the Senate. The latter could pass and could leave us in the same mess we're in now. Maybe worse.
The Democrats' proposal:
Democratic senators have been crafting a filibuster reform package that, if it resembles the reforms embraced by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), will include reforms that prevent the minority from imposing hours of needless delay every time a new nominee is confirmed, and which will also include the so-called “talking filibuster” that requires supporters of a filibuster to speak on the floor in order to maintain it. ...Think Progress
Kind of mild and at least ahead of where we are now. But here's the right's counterproposal:
... The proposal would limit the use of the filibuster in some cases, such as on a motion to proceed to debate, and also include provisions allowing for amendments for the minority. ...HuffPo
What's wrong with the counterproposal?
By limiting filibusters on motions to proceed, this proposal will restrict the minority from effectively filibustering the same bill twice, but it does nothing to prevent the minority from filibustering any bill they can filibuster now. It also does nothing to prevent widespread obstruction of judicial and other nominees. And it does nothing to discourage senators from filibustering routine bills or uncontroversial nominees simply to delay or to gain leverage. If this counterproposal passes in lieu of the more meaningful proposals endorsed by Sen. Reid and others, it will mean that Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will remain the king of the Senate, and senators in the majority will still need to beg his permission in order to accomplish anything. ...Think Progress
The notion of Mitch McConnell "remaining king of the Senate" comes as kind of a jolt, particularly following on the heels of an election in which Republicans lost Senate seats. But that's what the current rules allow and what the counterproposal would assure.
Mitch McConnell is responsible for a considerable part of the Congress's well-demonstrated inability to govern. In an article covering the absence of judicial appointments, Greg Sargent writes:
The Mitch McConnell Republican Party, indeed, is making it impossible to maintain the old traditions of the Senate. The body works best when individual senators are able to use their leverage over appointments and other measures to bargain for interests they represent. It also makes some sense for minorities in the Senate to have significant leverage against lifetime appointments to the bench, which can perpetuate the influence of current, transient majorities long after they’re gone. However, if the minority abuses its rights under Senate rules, then those rights aren’t going to last long.
The other half of this is that a minority party that refuses to abide by traditional norms makes it very difficult for things to work in the Senate, which has traditionally been governed as much by those norms as by rules....Sargent, WaPo
In the matter of judicial nominations, it's true Obama has been slow -- inexcusably slow -- in making nominations. But the Senate is far worse. Sargent writes...
Tell me, I'm wrong. Tell me it isn't true that Democrats tend to concede each point even when they have everything going for them...
... The bottom line is that Senate reform is urgent, and the same thing I’ve said regarding many parts of that reform apply here: Those who care about the traditional Senate and the rights of minorities and individual senators should be fighting hardest for change. Because if the rules don’t change, sooner or later the majority party will be frustrated enough that they’ll introduce the dictatorship of the majority party into the Senate, and it will wind up just like the House of Representatives. The only way to prevent that is careful reform now. ...Sargent, WaPo