Reid, McConnell Feud Startles Chummy Senate

Senate leaders get personal over filibuster rules, 2014

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 15, 2013 10:48 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell have spent a combined 60 years in the Senate, and they've generally had an amicable relationship—but no more. Sticking points include the Democrats' attempt to oust McConnell in 2014; a super PAC led by former Reid aides is working against the minority leader in Kentucky, prompting some snarky comments from McConnell. ("Come on down. I hope you spend it all down there.”) Meanwhile, each party leader thinks his opponent is trampling Senate tradition, write Manu Raju and John Bresnahan at Politico. They say the powerful duo's relationship has degenerated into "name-calling, finger-pointing and mutual distrust." ABC's political blog the Note says the Senate is at a "boiling point."

Tomorrow, Reid could turn to the "nuclear option," altering filibuster rules through a simple majority. McConnell said that would make Reid the "worst" majority leader "ever," and his team tweeted a Reid gravestone that says "Killed the Senate." Reid, meanwhile, has been frustrated by what he sees as McConnell's excessive use of the filibuster and delays of Senate affairs. It's all a big shift in an upper chamber that used to be seen as "the chummiest club in America," writes Paul Kane in the Washington Post. "The only way you get something is to become obnoxious," says Democrat Mary Landrieu. "We have turned from a Senate to a theater."

Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid in a file photo.
Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid in a file photo.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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