Filibuster 1 — Reform 0
There is an urban myth that Foghorn Leghorn was based on a Senator from Kentucky. Whether that’s true or not, I say, I say, I say that the bipartisan reform package put forward in the Senate today is useless. All we got is a gentlemen’s agreement not to abuse the cloture rules and to allow more minority amendments to legislation. Let’s see how long that lasts.
The more interesting aspect is the accord between the party leaders holding that sixty-seven votes are required to amend the Senate rules and that no effort will be made to change the rules through a ruling of the chair upheld by a majority (the “nuclear” or “constitutional” option). That’s bad news for the cause of reform, because getting a supermajority to change the filibuster is really unlikely unless enormous pressure is brought to bear on the Senate by other institutions, as described in my Essay.