First, in a concession from Republicans, the majority party — Democrats currently — would no longer have to marshal 60 votes in order for debate on a bill to proceed. But, in turn, Democrats would have to agree to allow Republicans two amendments to the bill. ...NYT
This is like paying the plumber to find the clog and remove it, so the drain drains. Only the plumber leaves about half the clog in the pipe and your sink, rather than having dirty water standing in it for hours, has dirty water standing in it for, oh, maybe an hour or so. Wow.
In other words, lousy plumber -- not one you'll call again.
The changes will surely disappoint reformers who were pushing for more sweeping revisions to rein in the filibuster, once a rarely used legislative tool. The new rules will not include, for instance, a requirement that senators be present on the Senate floor when they want to block a bill from coming to a vote, continuing the practice of allowing them to filibuster in absentia. And opponents would still have the opportunity to filibuster a final vote on any legislation, thwarting its passage without 60 votes. ...NYT
Hands up from all those who'd like to see Harry Reid thrown into the septic tank, please.
WaPo's Ezra Klein explains.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have come to a deal on filibuster reform. The deal is this: The filibuster will not be reformed. But the way the Senate moves to consider new legislation and most nominees will be. ...
...What will be reformed is how the Senate moves to consider new legislation, the process by which all nominees — except Cabinet-level appointments and Supreme Court nominations — are considered, and the number of times the filibuster can be used against a conference report. You can read the full text of the compromise, which was sent out to Senate offices this morning, here (pdf).
But even those reforms don’t go as far as they might. ...Klein, WaPo
At least one Senate aide is described as "agog." He remarked: "Right now, you have to negotiate with McConnell to get on a bill. Tomorrow, if this passes, you still need to negotiate with McConnell to get on a bill. It changes nothing on how we move forward."
We (the people) lose.
According to WaPo's Chris Cillizza, Reid, allegedly a great strategist, thinks the Democrats will lose the majority in 2014 and he doesn't want to lost the ability to , well, be an obstructive minority.
Greg Sargent, also at WaPo, says there was never really any great enthusiasm for reform. Only real enthusiasm was from the we-the damn-people. Same old, same old.