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Reid to lay out plans for filibuster reform

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - CDC in limbo on J&J vax verdict; Rep. Brady retiring Biden to tap Erika Moritsugu as new Asian American and Pacific Islander liaison White House races clock to beat GOP attacks MORE (D-Nev.) will present colleagues with options for reforming the Senate’s filibuster rules in a Democratic Caucus meeting Tuesday.

Reid and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouse votes to condemn Chinese government over Hong Kong 15 Senate Republicans pledge to oppose lifting earmark ban It's not 'woketivism,' it's good business MORE (Ky.) are close to reaching a deal to speed the pace of work in the Senate, but some of the details remain unresolved.

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The agreement between Reid and McConnell is not expected to include the talking filibuster, which would require senators who want to block action on legislation to actually hold the floor and debate for hours on end.

In recent days, Reid has begun to focus on a proposal to tweak the filibuster rule by requiring the minority party to muster 41 votes to stall a bill or nominee. Under current rules, the responsibility is on the majority to round up 60 votes to end a filibuster.

Reid will insist on reducing delays to motions to begin debate on new business and motions to send legislation to conference talks with the House, according to Senate sources.

Democratic proponents of filibuster reform emphasize that Reid does not yet have a final package. They are holding out hope that Reid can be persuaded to include the talking filibuster after a caucus debate. 

A Senate Republican source said Reid and McConnell would present the rough outlines of a potential deal to their caucuses this week before finalizing it.

Reid will not trigger the so-called nuclear option on Tuesday, as some Republicans have feared. Under the nuclear option, Reid could change the Senate’s rules with a simple majority vote.

Proponents of the tactic, such as Sen. Tom UdallTom UdallStudy: Chemical used in paint thinners caused more deaths than EPA identified Oregon senator takes center stage in Democratic filibuster debate Bipartisan bill seeks to raise fees for public lands drilling MORE (D-N.M.), call it the “constitutional option,” arguing that the Constitution allows the Senate to set its own rules at the start of a new Congress.

Reid has extended the first “legislative day” of the 113th Congress for more than two weeks to give him the opportunity to trigger the nuclear option if he fails to reach a deal with McConnell.

A Democratic aide said Reid would have at least 51 votes to implement whatever reforms have consensus support within the caucus.

But Reid does not want to start the new Congress on a sourly partisan note and would prefer to negotiate a bipartisan alternative.

Republicans have asked that any reform guarantee the minority party the chance to offer amendments in exchange for ending filibusters of motions to proceed to new business.

Senate Democratic Whip Dick DurbinDick DurbinWhite House defends 'aspirational' goal of 62,500 refugees Biden on refugee cap: 'We couldn't do two things at once' For a win on climate, let's put our best player in the game MORE (Ill.) said Reid would not trigger the nuclear option Tuesday. He hopes a compromise will emerge by week’s end.

“We’re close. We’re very close. It really comes down to one or two relatively minor angles that we ought to resolve,” he said.

Several senior and centrist Democrats have balked at reforming the filibuster rule to require senators to actively hold the floor. They include Sens. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSenate Democrats call on Biden to restore oversight of semiautomatic and sniper rifle exports Overnight Defense: Army moves to combat sexual crimes | Eight West Point cadets expelled | Democratic senators want to restrict F-35 sale to UAE A proposal to tackle congressional inside trading: Invest in the US MORE (Calif.), Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusBottom line Bottom line Bottom line MORE (Mont.), Carl LevinCarl Milton LevinThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden officials brace for worst despite vaccine data Michigan GOP unveils dozens of election overhaul bills after 2020 loss How President Biden can hit a home run MORE (Mich.), Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOn The Money: Treasury creates hub to fight climate change | Manchin throws support behind union-backed PRO Act | Consumer bureau rolls out rule to bolster CDC eviction ban Miners union to back Biden on green energy if it retains jobs Manchin throws support behind union-backed PRO Act MORE (W.Va.) and Mark PryorMark Lunsford PryorBottom line Everybody wants Joe Manchin Cotton glides to reelection in Arkansas MORE (Ark.).

“I am looking forward to the meeting on Tuesday because my understanding is that a plan is going to be put forward,” said Feinstein. “I would hope that we wouldn’t have to use the nuclear option. I would hope that the two parties can agree, and there’s some indication that that might happen.”