Late Wednesday, Udall's office told National Journal the senator still believes the Senate needs a talking filibuster and he plans to work toward that and other changes at the start of the next Congress in January 2015. Why wait until then? The basic argument, and one that Udall subscribes to, is that on the first legislative day of a new session, the Senate's rules do not yet apply, so they can be changed by a simple majority. It's, in some ways, a more refined version of going nuclear. [...]Udall, Merkley, and Harkin might have an unexpected ally: Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) who has been an avowed opponent of significant reforms and who worked with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) to derail strong reforms at the beginning of this session. In an interview with Politico this week, Levin made a strong case for a talking filibuster:
Asked what would trigger him to push for more reforms, Udall said, "We can't go back to endless filibustering of presidential appointments in which one side blocks an otherwise qualified nominee to prevent the agency itself from functioning." He also pointed to the ripple impact of nominees getting stuck in the Senate, saying, "it's not just the Senate that grinds to a halt, either, it's entire federal agencies or—in the case of some judicial appointments—federal courts, many of which are already shorthanded."
“Why do we not force folks threatening to filibuster to filibuster? We can do it. Stand up and filibuster all night. Why wont we spend a day, a weekend, August, forcing folks threatening to filibuster? Go ahead, filibuster a judicial nominee who got unanimous approval in committee… You’re threatening to filibuster that nominee? Go ahead. You know how long it will last? About an hour.”That's the argument for a talking filibuster in a nutshell. Tell your Democratic senators to strike while the iron is hot, and push the talking filibuster.