Skip to main content

Barack Obama in Springfield, Illinois, right after Biden was formerly introduced by Obama as his running mate. August 23rd, 2008
The death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg makes the margin of error in Harry Reid's whipping for filibuster reform that much tighter, and it means that Reid might require the vote of Vice President Joe Biden to make it happen. Greg Sargent writes that the White House has assured Reid that it would support an effort to end the filibuster on executive nominations with a majority vote.
It’s simple math. Lautenberg’s passing means Dems now only have 54 votes in the Senate. (His temporary Republican replacement can’t be expected to back rules reform.) Aides who are tracking the vote count tell me that Senator Carl Levin (a leading opponent of the “nuke option” when it was ruled out at the beginning of the year, leading to the watered down bipartisan filibuster reform compromise) is all but certain to oppose any rules change by simple majority. Senators Patrick Leahy and Mark Pryor remain question marks. And Senator Jack Reed is a Maybe.

If Dems lose those four votes, that would bring them down to 50. And, aides note, that would mean Biden’s tie-breaking vote would be required to get back up to the 51 required for a simple Senate majority. That’s an awfully thin margin for error.


On the other hand, Leahy, Pryor and Reed could be persuadable, or even already persuaded and keeping mum. Just four undecideds, even with Levin's opposition, means Republicans have some serious thinking to do about how far they're going to push opposition to Obama's three executive nominations that are still pending floor action, and three judicial nominations that haven't gone to committee yet. The commitment of the White House to back Reid on rules change, which presumably includes Biden's tie-breaking vote, adds one more component to everyone's calculations—the Republicans' willingness to keep obstructing and the Democrats' desire to do something about it.

The most effective course of action for us in the next month is to keep pushing Democratic senators to just do it.

Keep the pressure on. Send an email to your Democratic senators telling them to re-open filibuster reform and make the Senate function again.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 03:10 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site