Senate Majority Rules? Senator Wants Showdown on Filibuster Reform


"Neither side knows after 2012 whether they're going to be in the majority or the minority," said Ross Baker, professor of political science at Rutgers University. "How much of a stick do the Democrats want to stick in the Republicans' eyes?"

Republicans point to the advice of outgoing Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., who said in his farewell speech after five terms that he understood the "temptation" to change the filibuster rules.

"But whether such a temptation is motivated by a noble desire to speed up the legislative process or by pure political expedience, I believe such changes would be unwise," Dodd said in late November.

Baker agreed, suggesting the 60-vote threshold creates a demand for legislation more palatable to the American people.

"On really, really important things, you really do want a consensus," he said.

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