“This is a starting point, not a finished soufflé,” one Senate Democratic aide said.
Democratic aides speculated that any final proposal would not include an end to filibusters on motions to proceed, nor would it include a minimum guarantee of amendments for the minority.
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) may also offer his own proposal to reduce the number of votes needed to invoke cloture, and Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) may offer their proposal to eliminate secret holds as well.
An elongated legislative day is nothing new to the Senate, Historian Don Ritchie said. In 1979, then-Majority Leader Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) held a legislative day open for five weeks while he pushed a rule change barring filibusters that were mounted after cloture was invoked.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.