Talking About Reform In Aftermath Of Senate’s “Nuclear Option”
Since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid used the so-called “nuclear option” to essentially end the filibuster on most presidential nominations on Thursday, there has been considerable speculation over the future of the filibuster on legislation. GAI Senior Fellow Joshua Huder argues that the filibuster, when used correctly, can foster bipartisanship and calls for it to be reformed rather than eliminated. He goes on to give specific recommendations on how to adjust the filibuster so it can once again incentivize the parties to work together.
Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid used what was termed the “nuclear option,” to limit the filibuster on most presidential appointees. While the label is clear hyperbole, this was the most significant change to Senate process since 1975. Democrats pulled this off through innovative reading of Senate rules and precedents. Strictly speaking, this was not a rules change, but a change in Senate precedents. That is a wonky distinction, but it is an important one.