Thursday, October 06, 2011


If this report from Alex Bolton at The Hill is legitimate, Harry Reid may have just opened up a huge can of whoopass.

In a shock development Thursday evening, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) triggered a rarely-used procedural option informally called the “nuclear option” to change the Senate rules.

The Democratic leader had become fed up by Republican demands for votes on motions to suspend the rules after the Senate had voted to end a filibuster.

Reid said these motions, which do not need unanimous consent, amount to a second-round filibuster after the Senate has voted to move to final passage of a measure.

The surprise move stunned Republicans, who did not expect Reid to bring heavy artillery to what had been a hum-drum knife fight over amendments to China currency legislation.

It seems that the Republicans either got lazy or sloppy, and left the door open for Reid to throw some serious jujitsu.  Now, what this means is that one of the byzantine filibuster options available to the Republicans is going to go away.  If that happens, all of a sudden things get very, very interesting.

So here's what I want to know: is Reid really going to do this, or is he finally playing cards he has left in order to win concessions from Orange Julius and the House?  Let's not forget that Republicans immediately reneged on the deal reached after the debt ceiling fight and tried to shut down the government a few weeks ago.  If this is Harry Reid's payback, then I hope he's at least getting passage of the American Jobs Act out of the deal at the bare minimum.

We'll see.