Reid Sets Record for Breaking Attempted Filibusters

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) “set a record during the 111th Congress by becoming the chamber’s most successful Majority Leader in history at killing attempted filibusters,” Roll Call reports.

Though the Nevada Democrat’s batting average took a nose dive in 2010, Reid won 69 percent of his total attempts to shut down threatened filibusters in the two years of the 111th Congress that began January 2009.

Two former Majority Leaders — Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Mike Mansfield (D-Mont.) — share the next best record; both won 63 percent of the time in the 109th Congress and the 94th Congress, respectively.

Reid has “sometimes had the advantage of an outsized majority, but he primarily operated with 58 or 59 votes.”

He only had 60 Members of the Democratic caucus for six months of the past two years. That was the time between Sen. Al Franken’s (D-Minn.) delayed July 2009 swearing-in and the special election win of Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) in January 2010.

Regardless of whether he had 60 caucus members, Reid rarely won without the votes of at least a few Republicans. That was largely because of the illnesses and subsequent deaths of Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) in 2009 and Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) in 2010.


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