This Is Supposed to Be Filibuster Reform?!

Ezra Klein sits down with Harry Reid, and isn't impressed by his answers

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 24, 2013 1:49 PM CST

(Newser) – Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell have struck a deal on filibuster reform. "The deal is this: the filibuster will not be reformed," quips Ezra Klein in the Washington Post. Reid's deal doesn't do away with the 60-vote threshold to pass bills, nor does it go particularly far in making it easier to start debating them. Instead of needing 60 votes to begin debate, bills will now need approval from McConnell and seven Republicans. "Right now, you have to negotiate with McConnell to get on a bill. Tomorrow, if this passes, you still need to negotiate with McConnell," one aghast aide says. "It changes nothing."

Klein sat down with Reid, who said he wasn't "personally, at this stage, ready to get rid of the 60-vote threshold," because "the Senate isn't and shouldn't be like the House." But he seemed genuinely annoyed at Republican delaying tactics, and said he'd used the threat of changing the rules to scare McConnell into making a deal. "The only way we'll get rid of the filibuster is if it continues to be abused," he says. Klein's take: "The filibuster is safe … and filibuster reformers have lost once again." For more on the deal, click here or here.

Harry Reid arrives on Capitol Hill Jan. 21 for President Obama's ceremonial swearing-in ceremony.
Harry Reid arrives on Capitol Hill Jan. 21 for President Obama's ceremonial swearing-in ceremony.   (AP Photo/Jonathan Ernst, Pool)
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