Buried at the end of a Washington Post story is a promise worth cutting out and pasting on your office wall. The office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he would back a Senate rules change giving the majority more power to enact its agenda, even if the Democrats finds itself in the minority next year.
At least that’s what his spokesman Adam Jentleson told the Post:
He’d still advocate for his position, he just wouldn’t be in a position to do anything about it unless a bunch of Republicans suddenly have a change of heart. His position won’t change. He’s convinced of the need for change.
This promise came about because Reid has regularly slammed Republicans for using the filibuster rules to block the Democrats agenda and now says the use is so extreme it justifies amending those rules. He promises to do it at the beginning of the next Congress (when the Senate adopts it rules) through a simple majority:
We can’t go on like this anymore. I don’t want to get rid of the filibuster, but I have to tell you, I want to change the rules and make the filibuster meaningful. The filibuster is not part of our constitution, it came about as a result of our wanting to get legislation passed, and now it’s being used to stop legislation from passing.
Reid must have a short memory because in 2005 when the Republicans had a Senate majority they tried to amend the filibuster rules just to move judicial nominees … and the Democrats fought them at every turn.
We’ll see if, come next January, circumstances allow the Republicans to try to hold Reid to his words. My guess is he’ll have a change of heart in that scenario.