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Harry Reid speaking on the Senate floor
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he's had enough Republican obstruction.

An angry Harry Reid took to the floor Thursday and demanded changes to the Senate’s hallowed filibuster rules, siding with junior Democrats who have sought to substantially weaken the powerful delaying tactic.

[...] Reid—who struck a "gentleman’s agreement" last year with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to preserve the filibuster from an effort by Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Jeff. Merkley (D-Ore.) to water it down signaled he is now on board with their effort given the gridlock in the Senate.

“If there were ever a time when Tom Udall and Jeff Merkley were prophetic, it’s tonight,” Reid said on the floor. “These two young, fine senators said it was time to change the rules of the Senate, and we didn’t. They were right. The rest of us were wrong—or most of us, anyway. What a shame.”

What's substantially changed from the beginning of 2011 and now with the filibuster? The Republicans proved, again, that they don't give a shit for any "gentleman's agreement," the deal struck by Mitch McConnell and Reid to preserve the filibuster as a tool, but for Republicans to use it much less.

In case you missed it, David Waldman showed just how much the agreement failed earlier this week.

From the time of the invention of the cloture rule, during World War I, until the end of the Reagan administration, there were a total of 385 cloture motions filed. That's a span of about 70 years. But in the five and a half years since Republicans lost control of the Senate after the 2006 elections, there have been 359 cloture motions filed.

In fact, [Tuesday's] cloture vote [on student loan interest rates] was on the 83rd cloture motion filed in the 112th Congress. That's the third all-time highest number of cloture motions ever filed, and it's only May. And what two Congresses are the only ones ever to see more cloture motions filed? Well, it's the last two: the 110th and 111th. The two immediately following the Republicans' loss of control of the chamber.

Remember this day, Sen. Reid, when you endorsed filibuster reform. If the Democrats hold the Senate in this election, we're going to be there to remind you.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri May 11, 2012 at 10:01 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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