Updated: 1:25 P.M.
After the Senate voted on a broad bipartisan basis Thursday night to make modest rules changes to streamline Senate business, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said he reserves the right to make further rules changes — but only through regular order.
“If these reforms do not do enough to end the gridlock here in Washington, we will consider doing more in the future,” Reid said in a statement.On the floor, Reid signaled that any rules changes would be through the regular process.
“Finally,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) asked, “I would confirm with the Majority Leader that the Senate would not consider other resolutions [in] relation to any standing order or rules this Congress unless they went through the regular order process?”
Reid responded: “That is correct. Any other resolutions related to Senate procedure would be subject to a regular order process including consideration by the Rules Committee.”
Update: Reid’s spokesman Adam Jentleson objected to the characterization in an earlier version of this article that the majority leader is ruling out the possibility of making additional rules changes without consent from Republicans, although he didn’t say Reid would seek to do that. He said there are various options that Reid is not ruling out.
“He’s not ruling out making changes to the filibuster or other Senate rules in this Congress or any other,” Jentleson said. “We’re not ruling this out.”
Update II: A McConnell spokesman argued that Reid was indeed throwing out the possibility of changing Senate rules without GOP consent.
“Reid confirmed that there would be no rules changes ‘unless they went through the regular order process.’ The regular order means that you need 60 for a standing order and 67 for a rule,” the spokesman said, arguing that because Senate Democrats have 55 votes, Reid would require Republican consent in order to change the rules.