Breaking: Senators Reach An Agreement, Filibuster Lives On

Harry Reid

WaPo has the goods:

Senators reached a tentative deal Tuesday on averting a constitutional showdown over confirming President Obama’s agency nominations.

“We may have a way forward on this, I feel fairly confident,” Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday morning on the Senate floor. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) signaled that enough Republicans would support breaking a filibuster on the first test vote of the showdown, for Obama’s pick to lead the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau. “I think everyone will be happy,” Reid said. He indicated that the deal would not be finalized until later Tuesday afternoon.

The Senate’s reported readiness to take unprecedented steps to change the chamber’s rules governing presidential appointees came after nearly all 100 senators spent more than three hours late Monday huddled in a rare bipartisan, closed-door caucus.

Too bad. It’s probably a good thing overall to have Obama’s nominees confirmed, since agencies like the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau literally can’t operate without a head, but i’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping for some changes to be made to the filibuster, even if those changes only meant that Presidents could nominate agency heads without threat of obstruction.

Nate Silver thinks that the Republicans are set to take the Senate in 2014, so maybe Reid knew that and planned accordingly. Abolishing the filibuster is a grand idea when you’re the majority, but not otherwise.

(photo by Ryan J. Reilly)

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