On Thursday, Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) briefed reporters on the progress of their filibuster reform bill. This is the more robust version, as opposed to the sooper-lame Levin/McCain counter-proposal.
From The Huffington Post:
WASHINGTON -- The Senate postponed debate on reforming the filibuster Thursday, as advocates cited the support of 48 senators for eliminating the silent filibuster using the so-called constitutional option, a measure that requires 50 votes plus that of the Vice President.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...
Despite some opposition, Udall was confident about the proposal’s prospects, telling reporters it has “Big Mo," referencing his uncle, Mo Udall, a former, longtime Arizona congressman. Udall said he anticipates having enough Democratic votes to pass reform using what advocates call the constitutional option, but what opponents refer to as the “nuclear option.”
“I believe we have 51 votes to utilize the constitution and go forward with rules change,” Udall said, implying that enough of the remaining seven would swing their way to push them over the top. If the chamber was deadlocked at 50-50, Vice President Joe Biden, who supports filibuster reform, would break the tie.
(bolding by diarist)
So they have 48 CONFIRMED, and, I assume, a verbal agreement from at least two of these lawmakers:
Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.)
Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.)
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)
Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.)
Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.)
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)
When Merkley/Udall filibuster reform passes in two weeks, the GOP's power to obstruct will be greatly diminished. Sweet!
Daily Kos has a new action app up that makes it easy to email your senator and urge him or her to support the Merkley/Udall bill: