All Senate Republicans, most Dems reject Harkin filibuster change

Senate Republicans unanimously voted down a resolution, in a 12-84 vote, that would have lowered the threshold for bringing cloture on a bill from a three-fifths majority to a straight majority. Most Democrats also voted against the proposal.

“If you believe the minority should be allowed to slow things down then fine, but if you believe the minority ought to able to veto anything that comes to the floor, then you don’t want my amendment,” said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) in a speech on the floor immediately prior to the vote.

Under Harkin’s resolution, the threshold of 60 Senators needed to overcome a filibuster would be gradually lowered to 51 after a period of debate. A filibuster could be sustained only if a member or members maintained a physical presence on the Senate floor.

Democratic Senators spent much of Thursday afternoon arguing for this resolution.