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Harry Reid Ready to Alter Filibuster Rules

Senate Republicans are charging Democrats with embracing the “nuclear option” in their move to alter the filibuster.
Stepping up their defense of the parliamentary maneuver and looking to claim the political high ground, Republicans are attempting to brand Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) effort with the same rhetoric Democrats used in 2005, when the then-majority GOP Conference threatened to change the rules. It was an attempt to prevent Democrats from filibustering President George W. Bush’s judicial nominees, and at the time, Republicans defended the effort by calling it the “constitutional option.”
“It’s exactly the same move,” said a senior Republican Senate aide, who added that the “nuclear option is a radical” departure from regular order.
Reid has vowed to do away with filibusters on procedural votes if Democrats hold the majority in the November elections. Senate Republicans oppose the idea, and in particular they take issue with Reid’s threat to change the rule through a majority vote of just 51 Senators. Changes to the Senate rules typically occur on a two-thirds, or 67-vote, threshold, but the chamber’s rules allow for changes to be made with the consent of 51 Members if those changes are voted on at the beginning of the Congressional session.

Read more: http://www.rollcall.com/issues/58_9/Harry-Reid-Ready-to-Alter-Filibuster-Rules-216330-1.html?pos=htmbtxt

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