Reid May Go 'Nuclear' to Reform Filibuster

Senate leader considers changing rules for nominations in July

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted May 18, 2013 12:47 PM CDT
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(Newser) – Those who think abuse of the filibuster has gotten out of hand in DC should keep an eye on three upcoming Obama nominations, reports Greg Sargent at the Washington Post. If Republicans use the tactic to block the president's picks to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the labor department, and the EPA, Harry Reid is expected to exercise his so-called "nuclear option" and change the Senate's filibuster rules on his own in July, writes Sargent.

Reid would make it so that presidential nominations to the courts and the executive branch would need a simple majority instead of a filibuster-proof threshold of 60 votes. The filibuster rule wouldn't change in regard to regular legislation. The Huffington Post reports that Sargent's scoop is on target, adding that Reid has begun talking strategy with Democratic Jeff Merkley of Oregon, a big proponent of reform.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid speaks with reporters on May 7.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid speaks with reporters on May 7.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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