Senate leaders on Thursday announced a compromise aimed at speeding up the process of considering legislation and nominations, one that will be reflected in a colloquy between Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidSenate about to enter 'nuclear option' death spiral Top GOP senator: 'Tragic mistake' if Democrats try to block Gorsuch After healthcare fail, 4 ways to revise conservative playbook MORE (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellOvernight Healthcare: McConnell throws cold water on reviving ObamaCare repeal | House GOP insists they aren't giving up | Price faces new task of overseeing health law McConnell: ObamaCare 'status quo' will stay in place moving forward Senate about to enter 'nuclear option' death spiral MORE (R-Ky.).
First, Reid said, the understanding would put an end to secret holds on legislation, and he thanked Sens. Ron WydenRon WydenDem lawmakers push for FCC to tackle major cellphone security flaw Dem senator wants ethics probe of Mnuchin ‘Lego Batman’ plug Overnight Finance: Trump stock slump | GOP looks to tax bill for lifeline | Trump repeals 'blacklisting rule' | Dem wants ethics probe into Treasury secretary MORE (D-Ore.), Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyRNC head: Dems acting ‘petty’ to Gorsuch Dems delay Senate panel vote on Supreme Court nominee Grassley wants details on firm tied to controversial Trump dossier MORE (R-Iowa) and Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillTop Dem: Trump's wall would cost B NRA launches M Supreme Court ad McCaskill investigating opioid producers MORE (D-Mo.) for their work on this issue.
Reid said an agreement has also been reached to free up presidential nominees. He said Sens. Charles SchumerCharles SchumerMcConnell: ObamaCare 'status quo' will stay in place moving forward NRA launches M Supreme Court ad Senate about to enter 'nuclear option' death spiral MORE (D-N.Y.) and Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderThe Hill's 12:30 Report Price faces unwanted task of administering ObamaCare Overnight Regulation: Trump's Labor nominee hints at updating overtime rule MORE (R-Tenn.), both members of the leadership and the Rules Committee, reached an agreement that should let the Senate "get rid" of about a third of these nominations, which require the Senate's approval — thus making the nomination process easier going forward.
Reid also said these senators would work with Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan CollinsSusan CollinsLawmakers call for pilot program to test for energy sector vulnerabilities Senate about to enter 'nuclear option' death spiral GOP senator on going nuclear: 'I really hope that it doesn't come to that' MORE (R-Maine) on legislation to implement this agreement.
Third, he said senators agreed to forgo the forced reading of amendments in order to slow down the legislative process.
"It's wrong, and it's got to stop," Reid said.
Finally, Reid indicated that the two parties reached a compromise on cloture votes for motions to proceed, and the ability of the minority to post amendments.
Reid said that he and McConnell reached an agreement under which the Republicans agreed not to force the reading of amendments, and Democrats agreed not to "fill the amendment tree," which would give Republicans the ability to seek amendments.
McConnell took to the Senate floor after Reid spoke and said some votes would take place later Thursday evening to reflect the agreement. He indicated that these votes, which are expected around 7 or 8 p.m., could result in the approval of some, but not all, resolutions on Senate rules.
"We'll have the votes later, which will give the Senate a chance to go on record about some changes that have been agreed to, and some that are being proposed that are not agreed to," McConnell said.
Reid said the agreement means there will be no vote to alter Senate rules by a simple majority vote. "As part of this compromise, we agreed that I won't force a majority vote to fundamentally change the Senate — that is, the so-called constitutional option — and he won't either," Reid said.
— Josiah Ryan contributed to this story.