And so the Democrats begin to dictate terms to the GOP, a party that has already sold out its principles by agreeing to raise taxes on the upper 2%.
Filibuster reform has become a headache for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
Reid is stuck in the middle, between liberal senators pushing hard for drastic reform and senior Democrats balking at changing the culture of the upper chamber.
Powerful liberal groups and left-leaning lawmakers see filibuster reform as necessary to advancing President Obama’s second-term agenda, which includes immigration reform and gun-control legislation.
“The president can’t act on legislation if the Senate can’t act on legislation, and therefore it’s so important that we end the secret silent filibuster that has plagued this body,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), a leading proponent of reform.
A coalition of liberal groups met at the headquarters of the National Education Association (NEA) shortly after Obama won reelection to set strategy for advancing his second-term agenda. One of the primary goals emerging from the meeting was enacting filibuster reform.
Senate Democrats debated how to proceed during a lunch meeting that stretched for more than an hour Tuesday — and left the room with little resolved.
Reid has begun to show signs of impatience with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), with whom he has been negotiating for weeks. He said Tuesday that he and McConnell have made progress, but added, “[W]e’ve got a long way to go.”
The Nevada Democrat said he would give Republicans another 24 to 36 hours to agree to filibuster reform and then trigger the so-called nuclear option. This controversial tactic would allow him to change the Senate rules with a simple majority vote.
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