Communications Workers of America President Larry Cohen told the Nation that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., bears “lots” of responsibility for the White House’s inability to get its nominations through the Senate because he has not pushed harder for filibuster reform.
The union leader made the comment during an interview about the chances that Reid will act to end the Senate’s rule that requires the assent of 60 lawmakers before the chamber can vote on most matters. Cohen wants the rule ended and thinks there is a “50/50″ possibility that Reid will do so.
He expressed frustration that this hasn’t happened already, claiming that Reid had had the 51 votes necessary for the rules change “at this moment” but was hesitating on making the move. A recent report indicated that Reid may have the votes, but without any margin for error.
“If we don’t have the Democratic majority act like a majority and establish democratic rules on nominations, the right wing gets their way: You elect a president who can’t govern,” Cohen said.
Cohen and other union leaders are particularly concerned that the National Labor Relations Board will be unable to operate with a change in the filibuster rule and have been pushing the Senate Democrats to act.