Obama backs Reid’s filibuster reform effort

November 28, 2012

President Obama supports Senate Majority Harry Reid's efforts to reform the filibuster, a White House spokesman said Wednesday. 

"The President has said many times that the American people are demanding action. They want to see progress, not partisan delay games," White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said in a statement, first obtained by the Huffington Post. "That hasn't changed, and the President supports Majority Leader Reid's efforts to reform the filibuster process."  

The Nevada Democrat  has proposed eliminating the filibuster vote that is needed to formally begin debate on legislation and mandating that filibustering senators actually talk on the floor, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"-style. Reid intends to use a simple majority vote to pass the reforms. No major rule change has ever been instituted with a unilateral vote by one party. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) accused Reid of  “breaking the rules to change the rules” and warned that such a change would be toxic for bipartisan relations. When McConnell himself tried to use a simple majority to eliminate filibusters on then-President George W. Bush’s judicial nominees in 2005, Reid was adamantly opposed. Back then, he was the one accusing McConnell of "changing the rules by breaking the rules," saying it was something he would "never, ever consider." 

Rachel Weiner covers cops and courts in Arlington and Alexandria.
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Rachel Weiner · November 28, 2012