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Today, if you believe Reid's statements we will actually get filibuster reform.  Reid is quoted in The Washington Post as saying:

Reid said he planned use a party-line vote to change the Senate’s rules so that nominees can be confirmed by a simple majority, thereby doing an end run around a Republican blockade of nominees to key boards that oversee Wall Street and labor relations.

The method for changing the rules would require a ruling from the presiding officer, likely to be Vice President Biden, declaring filibusters on such cabinet or agency nominations invalid, followed by a vote requiring 51 votes to uphold the ruling.

After two previous threats to change rules on party-line votes — a move that critics have dubbed the ‘nuclear option” — Reid declared that this time he would do so. He set a key test vote beginning Tuesday with the nomination of the head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

(emphasis mine)

However, I suspect that this is another empty threat by Harry Reid designed to improve his negotiating position with the GOP; I don't think that Reid will actually get rid of the filibuster for executive branch nominees as he is threatening.  

A review of Reid's past behavior shows that we have been here before with threats from Reid that are nothing more than empty threats.

From Roll Call on July 23, 2012:

Reid has vowed to do away with filibusters on procedural votes if Democrats hold the majority in the November elections.

 On May 11, 2012 Ezra Klein quoted Reid as saying:

Mr. President, I am finished here, but I just want to say again, for those that are listening here or watching, Senator Udall and Senator Merkley want to do something to change the rules regarding filibuster. If there were anything that ever needed changing in this body, it’s the filibuster rule, because it’s been abused, abused, and abused.

On January 5, 2011, Greg Sargent quoted Reid as stating:  

In the entire 19th century, the Senate saw fewer than, 12, a dozen filibusters. Now we see that many in a single month...Rather than offer amendments to improve legislation or compromise for the greater good -- as members of this body have done for generations -- the current minority has offered amendments simply to waste time, to delay us from proceeding to a bill or to score political points. The American people love government but they don't like too much politics in government.

These rules are central to the Senate, but they are not sacrosanct. Senate procedures and rules have changed since the Senate was founded at the beginning of this century. Those decisions have never been made without great deliberation, and no future change should be made any differently...

Here's the bottom line: We may not agree yet on how to fix the problem - but no one can credibly claim problems don't exist. No one who has watched this body operate since the current minority took office can say it functions just fine. That wouldn't be true, it would be dishonest. No one can deny that the filibuster has been used for purely political reasons -- reasons far beyond those for which this protection was invented and intended.

On March 11, 2010, Politico quoted Reid as stating:

"But we're going to take a look at the filibuster. Next Congress, we're going to take a look at it. We are likely to have to make some changes in it, because the Republicans have abused that just like the spitball was abused in baseball and the four-corner offense was abused in basketball."

And I could go on further . . . .

As for filibuster reform, I will believe it when I see it.  

Originally posted to night cat on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 08:28 PM PDT.

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