CBS Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer appeared taken aback on Sunday when he repeatedly prodded Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to clarify that he was not considering further changes to Senate rules to revoke the “privilege” of minority Republican rights including the filibuster. While Reid said that the Senate was “not there yet,” he refused to rule out further curtailments to the Senate’s minority rights.
Schieffer began by noting that 2013 has been the least productive year for Congress in history and asked if this trend would continue into 2014.
“Unless the Republicans in Congress decide they should do something for the American people, I’m sorry to say that’s true,” Reid replied. “This is awful what’s going on.”
“And that’s the reason, Bob, that we had to change the rules,” Reid added. He insisted that opposition to the president’s “team” from Republicans in Congress was entirely unprecedented and should not be tolerated.
“This filibuster that they so love is not part of the Constitution,” Reid added. “It’s a privilege, not a right.”
“If Republicans continue to throw up the kind of opposition you’ve been receiving – you say you’ve been receiving, do you have plans to extend this ban on filibusters?” Schieffer asked. “Would you be willing to just go to a Senate where just majority rules and that’s it?”
Schieffer appeared shocked when Reid did not respond in the negative. Reid said that the nation was “paralyzed” because of a small group of Republicans motivated by “craziness.”
“But would you do away with filibusters entirely?” Schieffer probed.
“Well, we’re not there yet,” Reid replied.
“I mean, are you even thinking about that?” Schieffer followed up.
“No, I’m not thinking about it today,” Reid responded. “I think everyone should understand that the country cannot continue on the road that it’s on.”
Watch the clip below via CBS:
[Photo via screen grab ]
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