McConnell: Reid filibuster rule change would do ‘irreparable damage’

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Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) added to McConnell’s attack, saying if Reid does make the rule changes, he “will go down in history as ending the U.S. Senate.”

Reid would likely have to pass the rule changes at the beginning of the year, when he’s allowed to hold a vote that would require only a simple majority to change the rules. McConnell said this is breaking the rules and that Democrats should have to get at least 60 senators to pass the changes in order to ensure minority party rights are protected.

Reid has said the rule changes are needed for the sake of “efficiency,” because Republicans have abused the filibuster, stalemating the Senate. McConnell argued that Reid not allowing an open amendment process is what has stalled Senate work.

“The Majority Leader dismissed this practice saying it has no bearing on what’s going on here,” McConnell said. “Well, it does.”

McConnell said Reid had allowed an open-amendment process 68 times, while former Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) allowed Democrats open amendments three times as often.