Tennessee’s senior U.S. Senator is speaking out against proposed changes to the filibuster. Republican Lamar Alexander says efforts to limit filibusters would cost the Senate its historic function as a brake on legislation that otherwise might be rushed through the chamber.
The 72-year-old Alexander tells The Tennessean says without the filibuster the Senate would become “just like the House”, where a simple majority vote would win each time. When a Senator engages in a filibuster, it takes 60 votes to bring it to an end, so that the legislation in question can be considered for a vote.
Some Democrats are talking openly about changing Senate rules in January that would allow a simple majority vote to change the filibuster policy, as opposed to the 67 votes that have been the standard.
The leader of the U.S. Senate says he won’t involve himself in efforts to knock off Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is promising to stay off the campaign trail as McConnell tries to win a sixth term in Washington.
The website Politico quotes Senator Reid—a Nevada Democrat-- as saying it wouldn’t be “appropriate” for him to campaign publicly against McConnell. There is a long tradition of Senate leaders avoiding public campaigning against their counterparts, given that they have to—at least in theory—try to work together to get things done.
After years of defeat, Kentucky lawmakers believe an expanded gambling bill could become law next year. At the Kentucky Chamber’s annual policy day, House Speaker Greg Stumbo and new Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer discussed the prospects of such a bill in the upcoming session.
Both leaders suggested the opposing chamber take up the bill first when they get to Frankfort next month.
Thayer was the sponsor of a Senate gambling bill in this year's session. The measure ultimately failed. But Thayer says the Senate can pass a new bill if the governor pushes hard enough.