Harry Reid: We Really Need To Get Rid Of The Filibuster

on September 16, 2014 in Washington, DC.
Win McNamee/Getty Images North America

Former Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) penned an op-ed in the New York Times on Monday calling for the Senate filibuster to be abolished.

Reid, who served as the Senate majority leader from 2007 to 2015, blamed the filibuster for allowing GOP senators to make the chamber an “unworkable legislative graveyard.”

“Republicans over the past decade — knowing their policies are unpopular and that obstruction benefits them politically — perfected and increased the gratuitous use of the filibuster,” he wrote. “Even routine Senate business is now subject to the filibuster and Republicans’ seeming obsession with gridlock and obstruction.”

Lamenting that the future of the country “is sacrificed at the altar of the filibuster,” the former senator called for the procedural rule to be abolished “in all its forms” and to allow a simple majority vote.

“If a Democratic president wants to tackle the most important issues facing our country, then he or she must have the ability to do so — and that means curtailing Republicans’ ability to stifle the will of the American people,” Reid wrote.

Reid famously abolished the filibuster in 2013 for most presidential nominations except Supreme Court nominations in an effort to stop Senate Republicans from obstructing the appointment of former President Barack Obama’s judicial nominees.

Then-Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) slammed the move as a “sad day in the history of the Senate” at the time.

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