by HUMBERTO SANCHEZ, Roll Call
Senate Democrats and Republicans will discuss overhauling the filibuster during their caucus lunches Friday, as Democratic leaders weigh changing the rules to a simple majority vote at the beginning of the next Congress.
Republicans, and some Democrats, oppose the idea, and a group is putting forward alternatives that will be discussed Friday.
“It’s going to be discussed in each of the caucuses today,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., declining to elaborate. “We are going to have more to say about it, probably, after lunch.”
Alexander said a number of senators “had conversations” and are making recommendations to Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
“We are not going to negotiate, we are not asking for the conference to approve anything,” Alexander said. “We are just making recommendations . . . in the hopes that we can get the Senate functioning again."
After suffering what they argue is an abuse of the parliamentary maneuver, there is a general consensus on the Democratic side that Reid should act to reduce perceived abuse of rules requiring 60 votes on procedural motions and on motions to go to conference. But the Nevada Democrat could face resistance to a plan that would have him make those changes using a simple majority vote. That trepidation could increase the likelihood Senate leaders cut a deal and avoid a toxic standoff in January. [MORE]
Via Eric Byler