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Time for these guys to be whipping filibuster reform.
It's pretty much official: Harry Reid will wait until July to have the big fight with Republicans over the filibuster. He had originally intended to hold the confirmation vote for Richard Cordray at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau this week, setting up a big fight before the Memorial Day recess. But with immigration reform out of committee and ready for the floor, Reid's colleagues asked that the fight be held until after its consideration in hopes of giving it every chance to pass.
The July tussle would focus on the logjammed nomination process, and could lead to eliminating the ability to filibuster some nominations, the so-called "nuclear" or "constitutional" option -- the word choice depending on whether one approves of it or not. At least 50 Senate Democrats are supportive of rules reform.
"July is the best time to have this debate over rules and nominees," said another Democratic aide. "After immigration, and before the budget battles." [...]
Regardless, several Senate Democrats signaled Tuesday that they're ready for a rules fight, with some pointing to specific instances where Republicans leaned on the filibuster to block broadly supported measures.
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is reacting with typical histrionics.
"Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that the culture of intimidation is simply confined to the executive branch. The administration's allies here in the senate are trying to intimidate their political opponents as well," he said. "What I'm talking about is the persistent threat by the majority to break the rules of the senate in order to change the rules of the Senate—in other words, to use the nuclear option if they don't get their way."
That's rich, given the destruction McConnell and team have wrought in the Senate. It's a broken body thanks to their obstruction, so his lament for the rules is more than a little hypocritical. Whether or not McConnell really takes this threat seriously remains to be seen: If the stranglehold on nominations eases, then perhaps Reid's threats—and the growing possibility that he's ready to go nuclear at anytime—will have done the trick. But that's not too likely, not when colossal dicks like Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are all trying to make their political name.
In that case, several Democrats won't be enough. Reid needs 51. We've got until July to find them.