Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), a long-time advocate of filibuster reform, was the lone senior senator to publicly align himself with Sens. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) in their effort to change the Senate's rules.
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Those efforts were neutered this week by the leaders of both parties. With the exception of some modest tweaks, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) agreed that the rules would remain largely unchanged. Beyond that, though,they shook hands and agreed that for the next several years, neither party will attempt to change the filibuster rules on a majority-vote basis -- what's known as the "Constitutional option."
Under these circumstances, Harkin has given up hope that the Senate will ever reassess itself, and is looking to the courts to step in and shake things up.
"It's clear now that the Senate can not change its rules," Harkin told me in an interview Thursday evening. "It can not."