U.S. Senate leaders are reportedly close to a deal that would avert the so-called “nuclear option” regarding the changing of filibuster rules. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, have been in talks all week about how to move forward.
Under current Senate rules, it would take a two-thirds majority to change how filibusters can be used in the chamber. Some Democratic Senators want to change the rules with a simple 51-majority vote. Democrats accuse Republicans of using the threat of a filibuster to hold up legislation and judicial appointments. Republicans point out Democrats did the same thing when they briefly found themselves in the Senate minority during the George W. Bush administration.
The online political journal Politico reports Reid and McConnell could announce as early as today a compromise that would keep the filibuster as a viable option, but would pare back its use in several instances.
Nearly two years before he faces re-election in 2014, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell has been under regular attack for his policy stances — from both conservative and progressive groups in Kentucky.
The most recent criticism is coming from McConnell’s right, as more than a dozen tea party groups have signed a letter protesting the Senate Republican leader's stances. On the other side, a group called Progress Kentucky has protested the senator a handful of times already in 2013.
Jasmine Farrier, a political science professor at the University of Louisville, says it’s natural for different groups to rally against an incumbent before an election — but it may not mean much in terms of McConnell's ability to win a sixth term.
“It would not be surprising for there to be protests, criticism and press releases daily between now and the election in 2014," Farrier said. "But that does not mean there is an actual contender who is threatening the senator’s seat either from the Republican side or from the Democratic side."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has released a robocall in Kentucky criticizing President Obama’s gun control proposals. In the pre-recorded call, McConnell accuses the President of trying to “restrict your constitutional right to keep and bear arms.”
The call goes on to say McConnell will do everything in his power as Senate Minority Leader to protect Second Amendment freedoms.
The robocall was first reported in the online political journal Politico.
The President announced last week a set of wide-ranging gun control proposals, including a call for Congress to improve the federal background check system used to screen gun buyers. The White House also wants a ban on military-style assault weapons and a limit on the size of gun magazines available for purchase.
The debate over gun limits and Second Amendment rights was put on the front-burner after the December school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, in which 20 children and six others were murdered.