This nearly three-week break has taken place in large part so leadership could hold private negotiations to consider how to deal with a group of Democrats agitating to shake up the foundation of the world’s most deliberative body, right down to challenging the filibuster.
To the dismay of a younger crop of Democrats and some outside liberal activists, there is no chance that rules surrounding the filibuster will be challenged, senior aides on both sides of the aisle say, because party leaders want to protect the right of the Senate’s minority party to sometimes force a supermajority of 60 votes to approve legislation.
We’re going to get a couple of minor changes, such as an end to secret holds and fewer holds for the confirmation of minor appointments, but real reform won’t happen. Republicans know that they’re destined to be a minority in the long run, so they have no incentive to relinquish minority rights. And Democrats are afraid they’re going to lose their majority in the next election, so they don’t have an interest in playing the long game when the short one looks so terrible.