Harry Reid is the Only One Surprised by Republican Filibusters

Did Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) sleep through the entire first Obama term, because something has to explain why he believed Senate Republicans when they promised not to filibuster presidential nominees just for the heck of it.

Shortly after the November 2012 election Reid had an opportunity to reform the filibuster but balked, instead believing Senate Republicans that their days of obstructionism were behind them. “The general agreement was that Republicans would only filibuster nominees in the case of extraordinary circumstances, and once again Republicans are expanding the definition of that term to make it entirely meaningless,” an aide to Reid told Talking Points Memo.

It’s crazy, I know. To think that Republicans would go back on their word simply to block the President. But they did. And instead of helping move along the president’s agenda as promised, Republicans have once again used the filibuster to block critical appointments, like Caitlin Halligan to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Halligan, whose appointment has been in limbo for years, has broad support among both conservative and liberals, but Republicans refuse to let her nomination proceed.

Halligan isn’t the only key presidential appointment at risk. Richard Cordray was nominated to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Republicans acknowledge Cordray is an excellent choice to head the agency and agree his credentials are impeccable. But they refuse to confirm Cordray, or anyone for the agency head, simply because they don’t like the agency.

Essentially Republicans are holding the Cordray nomination hostage via the filibuster. After they promised they wouldn’t. And Harry Reid is surprised.

Democrats are going to have to come up with a solution to get the Senate working during the president’s second term. With gun reform, immigration and the potential for at least one or two Supreme Court nominations, too much is on the line. It’s clear Senate Republicans understand the stakes. What’s not as clear is how come Senate Democrats don’t seem to.


Related Stories:

No Filibuster Reform This Year

Moving Forward With Filibuster Reform


Photo from donkeyhotey via flickr.


Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill5 years ago

Well said Cyan D. I would also add the fact that the first black men in congress were Republicans while the Democrats were forming the KKK.

Winn Adams
Winn Adams5 years ago


Cyan Dickirs
Cyan Dickirs5 years ago

1. one of the Koch brothers is a lifelong liberal Dem.
2. Nothing happened under Bush except with the push of the Dems, esp Biden and BO, both of whom voted for and stumped for, the extension of the Patriot Act.
3. The entire Dem senate, under Bush, except for 1 Dem voted for the Patriot Act.
4. Repub proposed the first 2 civil rights acts, 1957 & 1960 and were opposed by Dems. The longest filibusters on record and the most filibusters were done by Dems against civil rights.
5. Dems have absolutely no intention of telling the truth, esp Reid and Pelosi, corrupt, rich career politicians. They will not acknowledge that the Senate has not passed or even taken up any budget proposal since 2008, that more taxes will not even begin to make up the 500 billion (one half trillion) yearly shortfall between the spending and income. Spending has to be cut-there is a lot of waste in all the duplicitous bureaucracies, regulations and bad programs.

Lynn C.
Lynn C5 years ago


scarlett g.
.5 years ago

Reid.......useless.....time to exit.......

Shirley A.
Shirley A5 years ago

Good Grief, Why can't Care 2 get word count back??? Irritating when you're comment gets cut off in mid-stream.

Shirley A.
Shirley A5 years ago

Good Thoughts Jeremy but the Republicans have proven time and again they do not value integrity, truth, common sense or compromise. The Dems have used the filibuster, a great recent one was Bernie Sanders, but I've never in my life seen it used to completely bring a nation to it's knees just for revenge and power mongering. It's more than disgusting and we need to find a way to stop the hostage taking of our country. The only way I see forward is to vote out Republicans/TP's in 2014 and hold the rest up to the highest standards of representing America or they go too in the next election. The only prob is, the right has rigged and gerry mandered the states so it will be really difficult to push aside the good ole boy network to have a decent and clean election with an outcome that truly shows majority vote. They set this crap in motion a few years back, made headway in 2010 with all the fear mongering and "bait and switch" ploys and pandering and have quietly been corrupting and rigging the system in their favor almost to the point of being little dictators in some states. Michigan comes to mind first. I am afraid of an uprising too, as the Right Wing likes to fear monger with but I see it as the center and left majority coming after the obstructionist to remove them so this country can move forward and gain the real steam that we should be experiencing now if it weren't for the games the Right wants to play with our lives and future. I know I'm repeating but I see with clarit

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L5 years ago

Harry Reid step away from his leadership role. He is no leader.

Jeremy S.
Jeremy S5 years ago

I'd say we need both sides to sit down together and get some filibuster reform passed so this kind of thing stops--except that I'm not sure it's in anyone's interest to have it stopped, apparently. That's the sad part. Both sides seem to use filibusters when it suits them, although the Republicans do so more malevolently, IMO. The development of filibusters, like so many things, had its roots in good intentions, but has been twisted to ends far worse than what was ever foreseen or meant to be. (Forgive the convoluted phraseology there; I just mean it's been increasingly misused, though it was doubtless established for a good reason.)

Phillip Ferrell
Phillip Ferrell5 years ago

I fully agree with you David. Harry Reid is a pansy.