Morning Bell: The Urgent Danger in the Senate

Think your state has equal representation in the Senate? Well, that could be eliminated soon.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid—a Democrat from Nevada—is trying to ensure that he personally has the final say on all legislation. And under one plan being considered, only three other Senators would be allowed any meaningful contributions.

Reid has been talking with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) about an agreement on this nefarious plan. But whether it passes with McConnell’s blessing or without, it is dangerous to everyone not represented by Harry Reid.

Until, of course, Harry Reid is no longer a Senator. Then, the scepter of power would pass to the next Majority Leader. But Reid and his gang aren’t thinking about that day. They’re thinking about today—and the ability to pass legislation without any opposition.

The ill-named “filibuster reform” proposals floating around on Capitol Hill include the following:

Make it easier for one party to pass legislation, even if half the Senate disagrees: To stop debate on a contentious issue, 60 votes are now required. But the proposal being floated would create a way for the Majority Leader to pass any proposal with only 51 votes.

Create four “Super Senators” who hold the true power: Only four Senators would be able to offer amendments to legislation, effectively shutting out the other 96 from the legislative process.

Special power for the Majority Leader: The Majority Leader (now Reid) would have the special authority to add an amendment after debate is finished on a particular bill. Combined with the 51-vote threshold, this change would allow the Majority Leader to jam through just about anything without the Senate even debating it.

Heritage Foundation

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