“The president, the former Speaker, the Majority Leader have all described this past Congress as the most successful in memory, and yet the most vocal elements of their party remain frustrated,” McConnell said.
Even in his speech on the floor Wednesday, Reid noted that academics and pundits have said the 111th Congress “was the most productive in American history.”
And Reid set a record in the 111th Congress for breaking more filibusters, 69 percent, than any other past Majority Leader, according to a recent Roll Call analysis.
Reid has set in motion a procedural maneuver that would allow him to hold open the first “legislative day” of the Senate for more than two weeks, as a way to prompt discussion and negotiations on the rules proposals.
Senate Democrats have threatened to invoke their alleged right to change Senate rules by 51 votes, rather than the 67 votes traditionally needed; however, the majority has yet to produce a rules change proposal that has the support of 51 Senators.
Republicans counter that no rules changes have ever been agreed to without the minority’s assent, despite a 1975 precedent that Democrats have referenced.
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.