“We are now locked in a rolling filibuster on every issue, which is totally gridlocking the U.S. Senate. That is wrong. It is wrong for America.”
Who said that? Democrat Harry Reid, majority leader of the Senate? Guess again. Try former Republican leader Trent Lott, bemoaning the troubled state of the Senate in the late 1990s.
No recent majority leader of either party has been saved the headache of trying to lead a Senate in which minorities can exploit the rules and stymie the chamber. This is not a new problem. Harry Reid may face a particularly unrestrained minority. But generations of Senate leaders from Henry Clay to Bill Frist have felt compelled to seek changes in Senate rules to make the chamber a more governable place.
Some things never change.
Twice this week, the Senate has opened debate with its party leaders engaged in a caustic battle over Reid’s plans to seek changes to Senate rules in January.