UPDATED 8:47 AM PT — Tuesday, August 13, 2019
Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is calling for the filibuster to be eliminated in the upper chamber. In an op-ed for the New York Times Monday, Reid said the Senate should do away with the 60 vote threshold. He says there has been unprecedented gridlock in the Senate, which has held back sweeping bills that would address gun violence, immigration and climate change.
Reid infamously eliminated the filibuster in 2013 in regard to presidential appointees, laughing off criticisms when asked what precedent he was setting:
“Let them do it, why in the world would we care? We were trying to protect everybody. I mean do they want simple majority, fine. I mean all these threats about ‘we’re going to change the rules more’…as Senator (Chuck) Schumer said: what is the choice? Continue like we are or have democracy?”
Since then, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has used the precedent to confirm a record number of judges, including two to the Supreme Court. Democrats fear the same thing could happen, once again, if they take up Reid’s suggestion.