The top Democrat and top Republican “in the Senate agreed Thursday to swear off seeking major changes to rules in the chamber in this Congress — and the next one,” The Hill reports.
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced a series of rules changes for the Senate on which he struck an agreement with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), among them an agreement to not seek changes to the filibuster or other rules.
"We’ve agreed that I won’t force a majority vote to fundamentally change the Senate … and he won’t in the future," Reid said in remarks early Thursday afternoon on the Senate floor.
Reid was referring to the so-called "constitutional option" that Democrats had sought to use in order to force changes to the filibuster, an effort that they had abandoned despite much saber-rattling by reform-minded liberals.
Under that option, Democrats would have sought reforms by using a simple majority vote, reasoning that, on the first formal day of a new session, the Senate can change its own rules with a majority instead of the 67 votes normally needed to change a rule.