Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, was on ‘Meet the Press’ Sunday. He said he wants to change the filibuster rules in specific cases. In instances of cabinet appointees, and federal agency nominees, he would prefer to see a simple majority of 51 votes vs. the super majority of 67, labeled a filibuster.
Reid may be serious about this. The Obama administration claims that Republicans have needlessly followed a policy of obstructionism in regards to Cabinet appointees and other federal positions.
“The changes we’re making are very, very minimal,” Reid insisted to “MTP” moderator David Gregory. “This is allowing the people of America to have a president who can have his team, to have his team in place. This is nothing like went on before.”
Reid pointed to the failure of the United States government to ‘get things done.’
“Is there anyone out there in the world, the real world, that believes that what’s going on in the Congress of the United States is good?” Reid asked Gregory. “Our approval rating is lower than North Korea’s.” (We haven’t seen that polled … but Congress’s approval has been lower than the idea of the United States turning Communist.)
Adding to the continuing rift between the right and left sides of the aisle is an emerging feud between Reid and the minority Senate leader, Mitch McConnell.
It began with a personal confrontation on the Senate floor. Former Reid supporters have formed a Super PAC, which has been attacking McConnell in Kentucky.
“I see your super PAC is up in Kentucky,” McConnell told Reid, according to two sources familiar with the exchange. “Come on down, I hope you spend it all down there.”
Reid’s response: “I know nothing about super PACs.” And the conversation was over.
Tension between the two is increasing as McConnell has become a target for Democrats in the 2014 mid-terms. In addition, the debate of the rules of the ‘filibuster’ have separated the two men further.
For nearly six years, the two men were said to have had a ‘cordial’ working relationship. At this point in time, neither trusts each other, and both claim the other is attempting to ruin the integrity of the Senate.
Last Thursday, the two had their most heated battle to date.
A furious McConnell warned Reid would go down as the “worst” Senate leader “ever” if he changed filibuster rules by a straight majority vote.
His supporters later tweeted a cartoon of Reid’s gravestone. On it was written “Killed the Senate.”
Reid was furious. “What is sad is how Sen. McConnell has decided to personalize this for his reelection purposes,” said David Krone, the majority leader’s chief of staff. “They obviously disagree on many issues, but I have never heard Sen. Reid speak so personally ill about Sen. McConnell in the fashion that Sen. McConnell has towards Sen. Reid.”
“If there’s anyone who’s making this a campaign issue in Kentucky, it’s Sen. Reid,” the spokesman said. “He recruited Sen. McConnell’s opponent, and his super PAC is demonizing the leader as an obstructionist with a quarter-million-dollar ad buy in Kentucky. Sen. Reid has manufactured an issue and is the one that’s making it a campaign issue in Kentucky.”
McConnell is facing a serious challenge in November, 2014. After five consecutive terms, his popularity is waning. His tactics of attack, attack, attack, have come under fire from his constituents. Kentucky’s economy is on the decline, and at 71 years of age, McConnell appears to be out of touch with the majority of Kentuckians.
Harry Reid wants to change the filibuster rules. While he, and McConnell battle, one question remains. Will McConnell filibuster the changing of the filibuster rules?
Alfred James reporting