You'll Have to Wait 19 Days for a Filibuster Reform Vote

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 3 2013 10:33 AM

You'll Have to Wait 19 Days for a Filibuster Reform Vote

The 113th U.S. Senate begins today, and there's been speculation -- all well-sourced -- that it might start with a fight over the filibuster. That might still happen. Technically, it might still happen "today." By that, I mean it may happen on January 22.

This gets confusing. The Senate's first day begins at noon, with the swearing-in of new senators. The day doesn't end, however, until Harry Reid says it ends, and the Senate adjourns. And Reid has announced that when "work" is over this afternoon, the Senate will go into recess, allowing this day to roll over. That matters, because only on the first day of business can the Senate vote on its rules package, with a mere 51-vote majority needed to approve them.

Advertisement

So, neither Democrats nor Republicans plan a fight today. Democrats who favor reform plan to spend the next two weeks building opposition to the "McCain-Levin" plan -- a "compromise" supported by one of the recalictrant Democrats -- and holding onto 51 votes for Sen. Jeff Merkley's plan, which would force those who filibuster to actually stand and talk. HuffPost says the 51 votes are there; I've heard divergent things about Sen. Jack Reed and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, but that was before Feinstein said she'd reintroduce the eminently filibuster-able assault weapons ban.

Merkley may release the hard details of his reform plan tonight.

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

160 Countries Host Marches to Demand Action on Climate Change

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 21 2014 2:00 PM Colin Farrell Will Star in True Detective’s Second Season
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 21 2014 8:00 AM An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.