The Washington Post

Filibuster fight reignites partisanship in Senate

(Alex Wong – GETTY IMAGES)

The love has been lost.

Ending a post-election detente from heated rhetoric, Senate leaders shredded each other Tuesday in increasingly bitter terms over a Democratic proposal to dramatically overhaul the chamber’s long-standing rules for filibusters.

As The Post’s Paul Kane reports, the back-and-forth left the Senate in a partisan standoff that is ill-suited for the bipartisan talks expected over the next four weeks to reach a compromise that averts more than $500 billion in annual automatic tax hikes and spending cuts that are set to kick in after New Year’s Day.

For a second straight day Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) opened the chamber by engaging in a nearly hour-long feud over Reid’s emerging proposal to eliminate some filibusters. Reid accused the GOP leader of “abusing” the rules; McConnell accused the Democrat of “breaking the rules to change the rules”.

Tuesday’s debate ended with McConnell repeating his vow that a Democratic rewrite of the chamber rules planned for early next year, approved without any GOP votes, would prove toxic for the hoped-for compromise on the fiscal issues.

“This is exactly the wrong way to start off on a new year and end an old year with a ton of problems that we have to deal with,” he said during the debate. “So here we are as a result of this suggestion that we employ a nuclear option [arguing] about arcane rules changes when we ought to be sitting down together and trying to solve the nation’s huge, huge deficit and debt problems.”

Read Paul’s full story here.

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Read more at PostPolitics

Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.



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Ed O'Keefe · November 27, 2012