Reid to Senate Republicans: Filibuster deal in 36 hours or face nuclear option By Alexander Bolton – 01/22/13 03:29 PM ET
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is giving Republican colleagues 36 hours to agree to a deal on filibuster reform or he will move forward with the nuclear option.
“I hope in the next 24, 36 hours we can get something we agree on. If not, we’re going to move forward on what I think needs to be done,” Reid told reporters.
Reid’s trump card in negotiations with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) is the threat he will change Senate rules with a simple majority vote, a tactic known as the nuclear option. This maneuver would allow Reid to change the Senate rules with a simple majority vote, something that has never been done, according to parliamentary experts.
Critics call it the nuclear option but proponents, such as Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) say it is more accurate to describe it as the “Constitutional option” because the Constitution empowers each chamber to set its own rules.