Reid Goes "Not Nuclear Enough" on Filibuster, say Progressives

Democrats in the Senate finally ended their long-held bluff to “reform the filibuster” on Thursday after Majority Leader Harry Reid pushed through a rules change—the so-called “nuclear option”—ending the ability of the minority of Republicans to hold up President Obama’s political and judicial appointments.

As The Hill reports:

The question that remains, however—even for those who agree that the upper chamber has become severly dysfunctional in the modern era—why now? Or more importantly—for what?

For progressives, the filibuster reform is a move in the right direction but not nearly enough.

“It should be clear to everyone all past and possibly future complaining about not being able to do something because of a filibuster threat is total nonsense.” –Jon Walker, FDL

Having failed to fulfill his threat to change the rules on three separate occasions during the last four years despite the unprecedented level of obstruction and abuse of the filibuster, Reid’s decision to employ the “nuclear option”—but only for nominees and appointments—seemed strange to some.


As The Nation’s John Nichols tweeted:

Karen Hobert Flynn, senior vice president for strategy and programs at Common Cause, welcomed the development as progress but also said Reid’s push to reform the Senate rule around the filibuster should go further.

“We’ve all been watching a slow-motion government shutdown for years, and this will enable the important work of reviewing and confirming presidential nominations to get moving again,” said Flynn.

But, she added, “the Senate is still broken and the rule change today is a small fix for a huge problem. The minority still has the power to use the filibuster to block debate and action on legislation favored by the majority. As Majority Leader Reid observed on the Senate floor this morning, ‘the need for change is so, so, very obvious.’”

And as policy analyst Jon Walker adds at FireDogLake:


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