Reid demands GOP filibuster surrender (Update: Gets it)
UPDATE 2: Here’s the tentative deal that was reportedly reached by Senators to avert the “nuclear option”:
Republicans will allow votes on Richard Cordray to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Gina McCarthy to run
the War on Affordable Energy EPA and Thomas Perez to be Labor Secretary and two others. President Barack Obama National Labor Relations Board removes the nominations for Sharon Block and Richard Griffin (Here is a story from Lachlan Markay about how those two circumvented background checks) and Republicans promise to give them a quick up-and-down vote
All that’s left is for Obama to agree.
The scorecard: Democrats get Cordray, McCarthy and Perez — the high-profile nominees with serious problems — to move forward. Two less consequential nominees will be replaced with similar union-approved nominees, who will also quickly get their votes. Republicans get nothing.
UPDATE 1: Senators have reached a tentative deal on the filibuster. “We may have a way forward on this, I feel fairly confident,” Reid said. “… I think everyone will be happy.” John McCain led negotiations to diffuse the showdown. No one will fault conservatives for being skeptical that Reid and McCain could reach a deal that would make everyone happy. Especially when one considers that Republicans had so little to gain from surrendering their filibuster.
Should we be surprised that Harry Reid lied about his intentions?
Nearly the entire Senate met last night for around three hours behind closed doors to try and hammer out a deal to avert a Harry Reid’s threat of blowing up the filibuster to insure President Barack Obama’s executive-branch nominees get an up-and-down vote. Things went nowhere according to reports — though talks will continue this morning.
Reid continues to argue (falsely) that Republicans are engaged in unprecedented obstructionism, demanding, in essence, that the GOP ask permission from the majority to filibuster.
Politico has a report on the negotiations, which features this rather amazing paragraph:
According to several sources familiar with the matter, McConnell floated the possibility that Reid could essentially get what he wanted: Enough votes to confirm seven presidential nominees awaiting action by the Senate. But there was a catch: Reid must drop his threat to employ the nuclear option that would allow him to change the filibuster rules with just Democratic votes. Reid would not agree to the condition because McConnell refused to forgo filibustering future presidential nominees.
Reid claimed Republicans could avoid the nuclear option if they simply confirmed the seven appointees they’ve been blocking. But if this report is true, that was a lie. According to Politico, Reid not only demands Republicans surrender on the threat of filibustering current nominees, but that Republicans promise to never use the filibuster against any of Obama’s appointments in the future.
Follow David Harsanyi on Twitter @davidharsanyi.