Schumer May Try to Rewrite Filibuster Rules

Hearings could be a sign he wants Harry Reid's job
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 10, 2010 9:32 AM CST
In this photo provided by CBS, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., appears on CBS's "Face the Nation" in Washington, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009.   (AP Photo/CBS Face the Nation, Karin Cooper)

(Newser) – Chuck Schumer plans to hold a series of Senate Rules Committee hearings to examine possible reforms to the filibuster rules so frustrating Democrats. Schumer, the committee’s chair, hatched the plan with senators Tom Udall and Carl Levin. In the first hearing, Senate historians will testify as to how the filibuster has evolved, while later hearings will examine reform proposals from Udall and Tom Harkin.

Democrats don’t actually have the votes to kill the filibuster, but they’re keen to highlight what they see as the abuse of the tactic in recent years. It’s also possible, Politico notes, that Schumer is holding the hearings to bolster his candidacy for majority leader should Harry Reid get the boot in the fall. His chief competition, Dick Durbin, recently signed on to Harkin’s reform bill.

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