Harry Reid may finally be ready to do something about the filibuster, the GOP’s abuse of which has become one of the many, many sources of Congress’s inability to solve problems of any kind. On the Senate floor today, Reid threatened to hold a vote to change the Senate rules — a vote, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell claimed, that would “irreparably damage the Senate” and ensure that Reid goes down in history as “the worst leader of the Senate ever.” So what, exactly, would these drastic, destructive changes entail?
The step that Mr. Reid will endorse, which drew strong objections from Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, would not affect filibusters of legislation or judicial nominees. But it would prevent Republicans from being able to require a supermajority of 60 votes for the confirmation of people the president appoints to cabinet level posts or other executive-branch positions.
Just imagine, for a moment, a world in which the president is allowed to appoint his own EPA administrator, subject to the approval of a majority of the Senate. We know. Chilling.