Harry Reid vows to tackle filibuster rules with, without GOP
Reaction from Chris Stirewalt
- Duration 4:26
- Date Jan 23, 2013
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-- new developments on a dramatic showdown in the United States senate that could be a game changer for Republicans.
Less than 48 hours after the president gave an inaugural address calling for several controversial policy goals.
The democratic leader of the US and it gives Republicans an ultimatum.
Either agree with us to reform the senate rules now to make it tougher for the minority that is the Republicans to filibuster.
Or Democrats will do it alone.
-- the filibuster is one of the few tools the minority has in its arsenal that gives it a real voice during crucial debates.
So why would the Republicans agree.
To curtail that right and what does it mean if Harry Reid decides to do it on his own with his own party.
Chris firewall is our Fox News digital content -- host of power plant Fox News dot -- So the filibuster.
Enormity gets -- -- approved in the study have -- 51 votes but.
In order to sort of get the vote going you need sixty votes.
And the filibuster something the Republicans use to stop that from ever happening -- to deprive bid the party in power of the sixty votes they need.
And Harry Reid doesn't like it.
Now when he was in the minority he felt a little differently Chris but now he's on this -- -- campaign to seriously curtailed a filibuster rights of minority.
Well that's for sure and -- the calls have grown and grown.
On the left and among Democrats for something to lessen the power of the minority block legislation.
Basically what the what the filibuster does now is it prevents debate from ending on something you can't move to the vote and as you say what you get to the vote then you just need a simple majority but if you can't close debate.
Then you can't ever get to -- vote so it becomes a moot point.
Now Republicans have used this Democrats used it -- pretty good effect -- Republicans had the senate and all the time it's a tool of the majority and it's been so since the mid seventies that's how the -- operated on both sides -- great things are more.
This functional now than they were before -- just like everything else in Washington.
But the truth is that the senate has had trouble moving large controversial legislation we think back to the president's.
Health care law is health insurance -- entitlement program they had do that on a budget reconciliation vote basically a procedural and around.
To avoid the sixty vote threshold and it's it's stuck in the -- of a lot of liberals they think that now though.
They have enough leverage with this threat against the minority that says.
Either give be either voluntarily lessen your own power agreed to -- your own power or we're gonna take it all away with this what's called the nuclear option.
I I just I don't understand I get I mean I see why Harry Reid wants that now the Democrats want that now that there in power.
But look at our history there they won't stay in power forever they just -- the Republicans will come back at some point to -- regain control of that chamber.
And then what's that and how are the liberals gonna feel if we wind up what -- Republican president.
A Republican senate and a Republican House and there are you know could seriously curtailed minority voting rights in the senate and the liberals are all but shut out.
All that matters for the Obama Democrats now is the next eighteen months that's the only thing that counts because there's a strategy.
The strategy is break the back of the Republican majority -- the house divide and conquer.
Those Republican -- that they can't block things and the president can get his larger initiatives through more that he can have more tax increases that he can do more stimulus spending that he could -- gun control that he can do a larger amnesty program for illegal immigrants.
Gay marriage who knows but he has a big bold agenda that he talked about including global warming.
That couldn't get through couldn't get sixty votes in the senate and remember this and this is the most important part of all of it.
If the president can't pass this controversial legislation through his own fellow Democrats in the senate including a lot of moderates especially those who -- in states that.
Our red that are facing reelection.
He can't ever pressure -- the house because if he can't move it out of the senate you can't pressure the house so that's what this comes down to is being able to break the back of the Republican majority in the.
We shall see that Republicans that are said to be at least talking with Harry Reid as saying this could wind up being a bipartisan agreement to curtail the filibuster.
But the Republicans say the only way they would do that as if they significantly improved their their ability to stick to put amendments on these bills.
Which they've also been stopped from doing by Harry Reid so.
It's a big deal we'll watch it Chris thanks you bet.