Reid: If McConnell Wants To Kill The Filibuster, ‘Let Him Do It’

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) brushed off Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) threats earlier this year to eliminate the filibuster entirely if and when he comes to power, should Democrats invoke the nuclear option.

“Let him do it,” Reid told reporters in response to a question from TPM at a press conference after Democrats took the historic step Thursday to end filibusters for executive and non-Supreme Court judicial nominees.

Earlier in June, the when Democrats threatened to go nuclear (but never pulled the trigger), McConnell warned that if this majority weakens the filibuster for nominees, his Republican majority would end it for legislation.

“There is not a doubt in my mind that if the majority breaks the rules of the Senate to change the rules of the Senate with regard to nominations, the next majority will do it for everything. … I wouldn’t be able to argue, a year and a half from now if I were the majority leader, to my colleagues that we shouldn’t enact our legislative agenda with a simple 51 votes, having seen what the previous majority just did. I mean there would be no rational basis for that.”

Reid was asked if he was worried about a future GOP majority ending the filibuster for legislation or Supreme Court nominees, as Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) threatened on Thursday.

“Let them do it,” Reid said. “Why in the world would we care?”

McConnell mourned the demise of the filibuster on Thursday. He wouldn’t reiterate his threats to retalite after Democrats changed the rules, saying only that he looks forward to the mid-term elections.

“I think it’s a day to be sad,” he said. “We look forward to having a great election in 2014.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK