the Washington Times –
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid laid the groundwork Thursday morning for going “nuclear” and changing the Senate’s rules to end filibusters of executive branch nominees, saying that he’s changed his mind since the beginning of this year.
Mr. Reid began the year pledging not to use the so-called “nuclear option” to change the chamber’s rules as part of an agreement with his Republican counterpart, Sen. Mitch McConnell. But on Thursday Mr. Reid said Mr. McConnell had broken his end of the agreement, which dissolves the bargain.
“A deal is a deal, a contract is a contract, an arrangement is an arrangement , a bargain is a bargain, as long as each party to such an agreement holds up his end of the bargain,” Mr. Reid said in a floor speech Thursday morning.
“I refuse to unilaterally surrender my right to respond to this breach of faith,” the Nevada Democrat said.
He has scheduled a meeting for Senate Democrats later in the day to plan a final strategy, but said he has already decided to begin the process Thursday, which would set up the key “nuclear” vote next week.
If Mr. Reid does push the nuclear option — forcing a rules change through a majority vote, rather than the usual two-thirds required to change chamber rules — it would poison an already contentious chamber.