Reid offers votes on GOP amendment in exchange for Democratic bills

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Monday offered Republicans a simple majority vote on an amendment to curb EPA regulations if they allowed the same for passage of Democratic legislation.

Last week, consideration of a fiscal 2015 appropriations package fell apart after senators couldn't agree on whether amendments should be subject to a 60-vote threshold.

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Reid accused Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) of hypocrisy for forcing all legislation to be subject to a supermajority of 60 votes to move forward until now. McConnell had called for a simple majority vote on his amendment to require the EPA to certify that its proposed regulations on power plants' carbon emissions would not result in job losses or electricity cost increases.

"Over the past five years, virtually everything we've done here in the Senate has been subject to a 60-vote threshold," Reid said. "Why? Because the Republican leaders insist on it."

"So it is without logic and it would deviate from the norm that he, the Republican leader, has made," Reid added.

So Reid made the Senate GOP an offer: McConnell's amendment could be considered under a simple majority, along with Democratic bills such as a minimum wage increase, student loan reform, energy efficiency, equal pay for women, campaign contribution disclosures, and background checks for gun purchases. All of those bills failed to move forward in the past because they didn't get the required 60 votes.

"It's patently unfair to give the Republican leader a majority vote on his amendment when there is so many other legislation he has blocked on a 60-vote threshold," Reid said.

This post was updated at 4:37 p.m.