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Posted at 2:10 PM ET, 01/25/2011

Dem, GOP leaders reach tentative deal to drop "Constitutional option"

By Greg Sargent

Filibuster reform update.

Multiple Senate aides on both sides say that Senators Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer and Lamar Alexander have reached a tentative deal to push forward with a less ambitious filibuster reform package that doesn't rely on the so-called "Constitutional option" favored by Dem reformers. The deal is contingent on whether rank-and-file Senators in both parties support it, and leaders on both sides are presenting the idea to their caucuses this afternoon.

What this means: It's that much less likely that the more ambitious reform plan favored by Senators Jeff Merkley, Tom Harkin and Tom Udall will become reality. Those reformers had hoped to use the Constitutional option -- passing a rules change on the first day of the new Congress by simple majority -- because it would enable passage with the support of only 51 Senators, meaning it could be passed by Democrats alone.

Instead, Reid, Schumer, McConnell and Alexander, who have been negotiating filibuster reform in recent days, tenatively agreed not to go this route, aides say. They are hoping instead to reach some kind of bipartisan agreement on a scaled down package, which is likely to include a ban on secret holds and a streamlining of the nominations process. But it would likely not include two other key provisions reformers want: The provision forcing Senators to actually filibuster, and the ban on filibusters of "motions to proceed," i.e., the ban on filibustering efforts to bring bills to the floor for debate.

An important caveat: One reason Dem leaders are leaning in this direction is that they don't believe the more ambitious reform package even can secure the support of 51 Senate Democrats. A top aide to a Senator who favors ambitious reform told Sam Stein today that the votes just aren't there. Still, liberal Dems want the leadership to press forward with the Constitutional option anyway and force a vote on it. But they may well be disappointed.

More when I learn it...

By Greg Sargent  | January 25, 2011; 2:10 PM ET
Categories:  Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, filibuster  
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Next: Support for repeal is vastly overstated, part 973

Comments

liberal Dems...may well be disappointed

Posted by: shrink2 | January 25, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

LOL!!!

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 25, 2011 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Shocking!! Sounds like people like Mark Pryor are unwilling to do their job. It appears the money party still rules the Senate.


Greg:
I think there should be a vote. Force it out in the open. See what chickensh-ts there are in the Senate. I bet one of them is Pryor.

Posted by: PhilPerspective | January 25, 2011 2:22 PM | Report abuse

OT: "An Alabama law firm claims in a lawsuit that Taco Bell is using false advertising when it refers to using "seasoned ground beef" or "seasoned beef" in its products.

"... Attorney Dee Miles said attorneys had Taco Bell's "meat mixture" tested and found it contained less that 35 percent beef."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110125/ap_on_bi_ge/us_taco_bell_lawsuit

Also, Ahmed Ghailani got life sentence.

Posted by: sbj3 | January 25, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Why are the Democrats in the Senate such idiots? I can't believe I keep voting for these numbskulls.

Posted by: kindness1 | January 25, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

liberal Dems...may well be disappointed

Posted by: shrink2 | January 25, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

At what point does disappointment become pathetic?

Posted by: wbgonne | January 25, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

"Those reformers had hoped to use the Constitutional option -- passing a rules change on the first day of the new Congress by simple majority -"

Interesting that through procedural tricks they are still considered to be in the "first day of the new Congress". The reformers would have been better served to have actually brought this up on the real first day.

Has the Senate done anything at all between the start of the Congress on January 3rd and today?

Posted by: jnc4p | January 25, 2011 3:02 PM | Report abuse

@Bernielatham January 25, 2011 8:53 AM:

"Here’s a couple quotes from Yale historian Steve Pincus’ 1688: The First Modern Revolution that I like:

...“The supporting of public credit, promoting of all public buildings and highways, the making of all rivers navigable that are capable of it, employing the poor, suppressing idlers, restraining monopolies upon trade, maintaining the liberty of the press, the just paying and encouraging of all in the public service,”...

Bernie, all of that is fine, but the modern day liberal eschews "suppressing idlers" because it represents a significant part of its political base and since the overall liberal base is not that big to begin with they must not mess with the "idlers" in our society.

Posted by: actuator | January 25, 2011 3:02 PM | Report abuse

"Has the Senate done anything at all between the start of the Congress on January 3rd and today?"

They're still in deliberation.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 25, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"Has the Senate done anything at all between the start of the Congress on January 3rd and today?"

Well Joe Lie attempted to take his retirement victory tour. Alas for poor Joe unlike famous athletes who collect goodies at each stadium their last time around Joe only managed to collect another few dozen columns the accurately pointed out what an arrogant sleazeball he is and we'll all be better served when that self aggrandizing loser finally admits to his real job...shilling for Connecticutt's insurance industry. Only now they'll be able to pay him directly instead of funneling the cash through cumbersome campaign organizations.

I'm going to go to wikipedia and see if they have a picture of Joe Lie under the page for "toady fat cats".

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 25, 2011 3:29 PM | Report abuse

"Bernie, all of that is fine, but the modern day liberal eschews "suppressing idlers" because it represents a significant part of its political base and since the overall liberal base is not that big to begin with they must not mess with the "idlers" in our society."

We note you've picked one of the several elements and we'll also note that you're repeating a right wing cliche which doesn't bear much correspondence with the truth. I presume you are speaking of America. Are you aware of any program which doesn't limit benefits or has no mechanism to direct beneficiaries towards self-sufficiency? Are you aware of some "liberal" who proposes a never-ending stream of benefits to recipients without such caveats? And if the "overall liberal base" is not that big, it would seem an oddness that Democrats win elections.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 25, 2011 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Bernie you know perfectly well that the independent voter who considers him or her self as "middle of the road" and not liberal or conservative is the one pursued by the left or right to win elections.

Posted by: actuator | January 25, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

@sbj Thanks dude I used to enjoy the occasional midnight run through the bell!:-)

Any idea of what the other 65% was? Yeah I probably don't really want to know do I. LOL

Lips and arseholes...lips and arseholes...

Ohhh well I enjoy my occasional White Castles as well but it was clear they don't have all beef patties...their patties have five big holes in them..so you get 35% air. But I love the taste of those little belly bombs.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 25, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

OT,

Uh oh, now they have their martyrs...if not Mubarak, then who or what? Egypt is 8 times larger than Tunesia, borders Israel & Gaza and so on. Some new challenges for the Obama administration and not just from the Maghreb anymore. We can't get out of that AfPak debacle soon enough, imo.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 25, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

shrink

Enjoyed your pithy comments about socialism last night....

"We can't get out of that AfPak debacle soon enough, imo."

And do you think we'll hear a peep tonight about TWO freaking WARS?

Here is the timetable if you believe it...
at least the official version...

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R40682.pdf

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 25, 2011 3:55 PM | Report abuse

"if not Mubarak, then who or what?"

You said it, Shrink. Lebanon. Tunisia. Egypt. The ME is afire. I hope we end up on the right side but that is not our usual fate in Muslim countries.

ruk:

That timeline is duly noted. We better get out of the ME and AfPak while the getting is good.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 25, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Enjoy the show tonight, All.

O&O.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 25, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Thank you.
"And do you think we'll hear a peep tonight?" Yes the word is he will admonish America to support military families and veterans - a fine idea that. But our ongoing presence in the دار الإسلام, the dar al-Islam, the house of Islam will bring us into dar al-harb's way. How is that for an unfunny pun...

Posted by: shrink2 | January 25, 2011 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Bob Barr sees the similarities between Baby Doc and the Tea Party...

"Another Duvalier adviser, Barr, a former CIA agent who worked in Haiti in the 1970s, said they are hoping to tap into the base Duvalier has energized with his presence in Haiti. Although Barr said that Duvalier has no political ambitions, he drew a parallel between the pro-Duvalier momentum and that of the Tea Party movement in the U.S. He added that the downward course of the country has caused people to look to Duvalier for positive change. "He's not an organization," said Barr. "But from what I sense it's a lot of grass-roots support."

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2044039,00.html#ixzz1BznSf9Qh

I'm lovin' me some libertarian/tea party/grass roots/baby doc folks today. Talk about American patriots. Talk about freedom.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 25, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Now this is going to surprise everybody...

"Karl Rove Appears On Fox News, And Isn’t Asked About Federal Election Law Violations"

http://thinkprogress.org/2011/01/25/rove-unchallenged-fox/

Posted by: bernielatham | January 25, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Yglesias gets the Pawlenty ad spot on...

"I continue to be fascinated by the way in which the rhetoric of “freedom” is always so closely associated with authoritarian populist nationalist movements. Absolutely nothing in the imagery of the video or the policy agenda of the Republican Party is suggestive of freedom. It’s full of flags and grim-faced folks and bourgeois respectability and military jets flying in tight formation. It’s an ad from a conservative politician that’s about exactly what an ad from a conservative politician ought to be about—about preserving a way of life against Muslims, freeloaders, sexual deviants, and other threats."

http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2011/01/tim-pawlenty-and-the-rhetoric-of-freedom/

Posted by: bernielatham | January 25, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

O/T but I wanted to post this before this place gets bogged down in the foolishness that is the SOTU.

12Bar/shrink:

Yesterday 12Bar asked:

""Are you saying that casualty insurance (particularly) only exists because it is legalized and protected (i.e. regulated) by the government? That's why insurance contracts stop at the nation's borders.""

shrink's response:

"Yes."

But insurance contracts do not stop at the nation's borders, at least not necessarily. I spent 15 years living abroad and used my US health insurance to cover medical expenses the entire time. And if one's particular insurance does not cover travel overseas, international insurance can be purchased. So too Americans and Canadians can buy car insurance to cover trips to Mexico, and vice-versa. Shrink is quite simply incorrect on this point.

Also, it is the case that any business, or indeed any activity whatsoever, exists only because it is "legalized" and hence "protected" by the government, the alternative being, of course, that it is illegal and hence not only "unprotected", but specifically targeted for elimination. There is nothing special about insurance products in this respect.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 25, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

we note with amusement that this isn't an answer to the question:
=================
We note you've picked one of the several elements and we'll also note that you're repeating a right wing cliche which doesn't bear much correspondence with the truth. I presume you are speaking of America. Are you aware of any program which doesn't limit benefits or has no mechanism to direct beneficiaries towards self-sufficiency? Are you aware of some "liberal" who proposes a never-ending stream of benefits to recipients without such caveats? And if the "overall liberal base" is not that big, it would seem an oddness that Democrats win elections.
=============================
sure, how long does Section 8 support last?

How about Medicaid?

Food stamps?

Time to get out in the 'hood with me and walk da streets. People in America are great at getting theirs and if getting theirs means gaming the safety net, well they've got it down pat.

And why, exactly, do Democrats win elections?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | January 25, 2011 4:52 PM | Report abuse

"Shrink is quite simply incorrect on this point."
Wrong, I mentioned intl. policy riders, I thought everyone knew about that but who knows...the point taken wholly out of the context is trivial anyway, so, is this bothering you? We are never going to agree, so best let it go.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 25, 2011 5:23 PM | Report abuse

shrink:

""so, is this bothering you?"

No. You were leading 12Bar among others astray, so I corrected you. Does that bother you?

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 25, 2011 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Exactly why I refuse to contribute to the Democratic Party, Senate Democratic Campaign, House Democratic Campaign, etc. I'm sick of these gutless wonders obstructing what could be achieved. Another example of "status quo forever" mentality in Congress.

Posted by: TeddyRoosevelt | January 27, 2011 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Exactly why I refuse to contribute to the Democratic Party, Senate Democratic Campaign, House Democratic Campaign, etc. I'm sick of these gutless wonders obstructing what could be achieved. Another example of "status quo forever" mentality in Congress.

Posted by: TeddyRoosevelt | January 27, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

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