An exuberant Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said his partys gains Tuesday night should effectively shut down the Republicans ability to filibuster the agenda of Senate Democrats and President-elect Barack Obama.
Even though it appears unlikely that Democrats can secure a filibuster-proof 60-vote threshold, Reid said Republicans would be foolish to continue their record-breaking pace of blocking or stalling legislation. He asserted that two centrist Maine Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, would likely help him break any legislative blockades thrown up by more conservative Republicans.
Theyre not going to be able to filibuster now, Reid said in an interview. We have a few Senators from Maine, and were going to have [Republican presidential nominee Sen.] John McCain [Arizona], whos never been a filibusterer.
Reid added, I feel confident were going to be able to move things.
So far, Senate Democrats have picked up five more seats in the Senate, bringing them to at least a majority of 56. Reid said he was still hoping for Democratic victories in Oregon, Minnesota and Alaska.
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.