Senate leaders on Tuesday took to their respective caucuses to pitch a deal that would restrict the use of secret holds and allow some nominees to go through unchallenged by the minority party.
Under the agreement, hatched by Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) and Democratic Policy and Communications Center Chairman Charles Schumer (N.Y.), Democrats would no longer use procedural tactics to block GOP amendments to bills on the floor. Instead, Republicans and Democrats would evenly split the number of amendments that could be offered to bills, according to Senate aides familiar with the deal.
Republicans have complained that Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has all but frozen them out of the amendment process by filing a multitude of Democratic measures on bills — a process known as filling the amendment tree.
Democrats have accused Republicans of abusing procedural tactics to slow the floor and score political points.
Speaking before the Senate’s party lunches, Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) did not indicate that the deal would dissuade the group of junior Democratic Members who want to alter Senate filibuster rules and make changes on other provisions that the minority has used to slow the debate.
While tacitly acknowledging that some of the more dramatic filibuster reforms may not have the support necessary to change the rules, Udall indicated that there is support for working around the edges.
When asked whether his push for a more bipartisan seating arrangement at the State of the Union address was an extension of the filibuster reforms he has advocated, Udall said, “Yes.”
From left, Lisa Peng, daughter of Peng Ming, Grace Ge Geng, daughter of Gao Zhisheng, and Ti-Anna Wang, daughter of Wang Bingzhang, hold pictures of their imprisoned fathers during a House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building titled “Their Daughters Appeal to Beijing: ‘Let Our Fathers Go!’”
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.