Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will postpone filibuster reform until later this month, giving him time to negotiate a deal with Republicans, say Democratic lawmakers and aides.
A group of liberal Democrats had been pushing Reid to trigger the so-called “nuclear option” on Thursday, the first day of the 113th Congress, to make it more difficult for the minority to stall legislation and nominees.
A senior Democratic aide said Reid will instead recess the chamber at the end of Thursday’s proceedings to extend the legislative day until later this month.
This would preserve his ability to amend the Senate’s filibuster rules on the first legislative day of the 113th Congress, even if that reform would not come until late January.
A Democratic aide said Reid is hoping to negotiate a standing order or rules change to improve the chamber’s efficiency when it resumes work, likely on Jan. 22, after President Obama’s inauguration.
“I think the conversation is going to continue between [Senate Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell [(R-Ky.)] and Harry Reid about this. I think they’re going to see if there’s a way to reach a bipartisan agreement, they’re still talking,” said Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.).