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With the end of the filibuster for administration and judicial (non-supreme court) appointees, Mark Pryor(D-AR) just became a more important person.  The reason for this is simple.  Where previously federal and judicial appointees had to get the 60th most progressive senator to vote for them, now all that is required is that the 50th most progressive senator vote for them.  According to Progressive Punch rankings, the 60th most progressive senator is Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).  Mark Pryor is the 50th most progressive senator (with Kay Hagan at 49 and Mary Landrieu at 51).

To be clear, I do think this matters, since most democrats (Pryor included) will vote for the appointees of a democratic president while most republicans (Murkowski included) will not.  But, this should also serve as a reality check on what filibuster reform really means.  It means that the swing vote has shifted 10 steps to the left (on appointments at this point).  Mark Pryor is no progressive, and we are not gonna get a progressive paradise with him as the swing vote.

PS  Just for the record, Elizabeth Warren is currently listed as the 21st most progressive senator, putting her pretty much in the middle of the pack of senate democrats. To be clear, progressive punch is one outfit, with its own standards, and at times a serious progressive can actually out-progressive even a progressive organization.  So, I am not saying that these ratings are definitive.  All I am saying is that at least by some measures, Elizabeth Warren isn't as progressive as many folks think she is.  She is certainly not in the league of Bernie Sanders, Sherrod Brown and other true progressive heroes.

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