Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is pushing forward with a legislative ploy that would dramatically reshape the way the legislative process works. He wants to change the Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster, a tool that benefits the political party that's in the minority - a rule that requires a 60-vote supermajority.
Here's the problem. In 2005, when Sen. Reid's party was in the minority in the Senate, he adamantly opposed a move by Republicans to eliminate filibusters on then-President George W. Bush’s judicial nominees. That's right, Sen. Reid called the move a sheer act of brute force. At the same time, then-Senator Obama strongly rejected the prospect of eliminating the filibuster.
Now, that the Democrats have maintained control of the Senate after the election, Sen. Reid is clearly focused on achieving President Obama's legislative agenda during his second term - even it that means marginalizing the minority voices by fundamentally changing the way the Senate operates. That's exactly what's behind this new push for filibuster reform being touted by Sen. Reid. And that's exactly why President Obama has now given his stamp of approval to Sen. Reid's plan.
The bottom line: This move is nothing more than a massive political power grab.
In a discussion about this issue today, I told Megyn Kelly on FOX News that Sen. Reid should be careful about what he is wishing for. The fact is the political balance in the Senate is certain to change again in the future putting Sen. Reid and the Democrats in the minority.
"Make no mistake, what [Reid] is proposing is a Senate where the only rule is his whim, where the rest of us are bystanders, including the members of his own party," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said. "The Democrats really want to go down this road? They really think they’re going to be in the majority forever?"
Also under consideration by Sen. Reid - utilizing the so-called "nuclear option" which would call for just a simple majority, or 51 votes, to change Senate rules. Changing the rules usually requires two-thirds of the chamber, or 67 votes. As Sen. McConnell so aptly put it: Sen. Reid is advocating "breaking the rules to change the rules."
This raw power grab would be a mistake - the ramifications of which would be felt for generations to come.
President Obama has a penchant for presidential power plays. He has been following his own playbook since January 2014 when he declared: “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone” – his promise to do all that he could to bypass Congress – relying on Executive Orders and actions instead of legislation.
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