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Boehner threatens to shut out Senate bills if filibuster rules changed

Rather than changing Senate rules, McConnell says Democrats need to change leaders.

House Speaker John Boehner escalated a battle in the Senate this week to make rules more favorable to the Democrats in charge by issuing a threat to block all future bills passed under the new filibuster procedures.

“Any bill that reaches a Republican-led House based on Senate Democratsâ?? heavy-handed power play would be dead on arrival,” said Boehner, Ohio Republican.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is working to eliminate the minority party’s opportunity to filibuster legislation, bucking tradition the party out of power often uses to block or amend controversial bills.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is leading the opposition to the rules change, arguing it would alienate the constituents Republicans have been elected to represent.

“Senate Democratsâ?? attempt to break Senate rules in order to change Senate rules is clearly designed to marginalize Senate Republicans and their constituents while greasing the skids for controversial partisan measures,” Boehner said.

“I question the wisdom of this maneuver, especially at a time when cooperation on Capitol Hill is critical, and fully support Leader McConnellâ??s efforts to protect minority rights, which are an essential part of our constitutional tradition,” Boehner said.

Not all Democrats are convinced it’s a good idea, as the tables could turn if they lose control of the Senate in the 2014 election. Reid is hoping to change the rules on the first day of the new session in January, when Democrats will control the Senate 55 to 45. Filibusters require 60 votes to be broken.

Rather than changing Senate rules, McConnell says Democrats need to change leaders.

“What we need is a majority leader with a different view about the Senate, consistent with its norms and traditions,” McConnell said.

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Audrey Hudson is an award-winning investigative journalist whose enterprise reporting has sparked numerous congressional investigations that led to laws signed by Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. She won the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi award for Public Service in 2009 for her report on dangerous drug experiments by the federal government on war veterans, which prompted internal investigations and needed reforms within the Veterans Affairs Department. The report also captured first place for investigative reporting by the Washington, D.C. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a finalist of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences Webby Awards for news and politics. Her breaking stories have been picked up and followed by major news publications and periodicals, including Readers Digest, Washington Monthly, and The Weekly Standard, as well as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Washington Post. With nearly 20 years of experience in Washington as a newspaper reporter and as a Capitol Hill staffer for Western lawmakers, she will now lead Human Eventsâ?? coverage of energy and environmental issues. A native of Kentucky, Mrs. Hudson has worked inside the Beltway for nearly two decades -- on Capitol Hill as a Senate and House spokeswoman, and most recently at The Washington Times covering Congress, Homeland Security, and the Supreme Court. Audreyâ??s email is AHudson@EaglePub.Co

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Boehner threatens to shut out Senate bills if filibuster rules changed

House Speaker John Boehner escalated a battle in the Senate this week to make rules more favorable to the Democrats in charge by issuing a threat to block all future bills passed under the new filibuster procedures.

“Any bill that reaches a Republican-led House based on Senate Democrats’ heavy-handed power play would be dead on arrival,” said Boehner, Ohio Republican.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is working to eliminate the minority party’s opportunity to filibuster legislation, bucking tradition the party out of power often uses to block or amend controversial bills.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is leading the opposition to the rules change, arguing it would alienate the constituents Republicans have been elected to represent.

“Senate Democrats’ attempt to break Senate rules in order to change Senate rules is clearly designed to marginalize Senate Republicans and their constituents while greasing the skids for controversial partisan measures,” Boehner said.

“I question the wisdom of this maneuver, especially at a time when cooperation on Capitol Hill is critical, and fully support Leader McConnell’s efforts to protect minority rights, which are an essential part of our constitutional tradition,” Boehner said.

Not all Democrats are convinced it’s a good idea, as the tables could turn if they lose control of the Senate in the 2014 election. Reid is hoping to change the rules on the first day of the new session in January, when Democrats will control the Senate 55 to 45. Filibusters require 60 votes to be broken.

Rather than changing Senate rules, McConnell says Democrats need to change leaders.

“What we need is a majority leader with a different view about the Senate, consistent with its norms and traditions,” McConnell said.

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