Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), who led an effort to curb the minority party’s ability to stall the Senate with parliamentary tactics, indicated in a press conference on Tuesday that the power to filibuster would not be drastically rolled back, but that the principle of “comity,” or reciprocity between parties, would govern the way forward in the Senate of the 112th Congress.
“Yes,” Udall replied to a reporter’s question on whether or not broad support in the Senate for the bipartisan seating arrangement for the State of the Union was an “acknowledgment that the filibuster is not going go be rolled back quite as some Democrats were asking but that you are going to look towards comity as way to break down the way the Senate works.”
Udall was one of the first in Congress to suggest the bipartisan seating arrangement shortly after the shooting in Tucson, Ariz.
Udall added that he had found among his colleagues general support for ending the practice of secret holds and for expediting Senate processing of executive branch and district judge nominees. Blocking nominees was one tactic often deployed by Republicans in the last Congress that many Senate Democrats considered unfair.
In promoting comity, Udall also acknowledged that Republicans had a “legitimate case” against a tactic Democrats employed last year that blocked minority amendments known as “filling the [amendment] tree.”