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Senators Near Consensus On Filibuster Reform Alternative

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Alexander and Schumer are also nearing agreement on two other, longer-standing proposals.

First is a potential agreement on secret holds -- though the aide insisted that the discussions involve "curtailing, not ending" that practice. Second is a change that would reduce the number of mid-level executive branch positions -- currently about 1400 -- that require the Senate's consent.

How this all plays out is still up in the air. The Senate returns from a two-week break Tuesday and this issue will likely be a topic at weekly caucus policy lunches. Either or both parties could reject the framework, and even if there's enough support to press ahead, Udall has been adamant about his desire to reset the precedent that the rules can be changed on a 51-vote basis at the outset of a new Congress.

About The Author

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Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com