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Filibuster Changes Will Wait on Sandy Aid, Reid Says

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Reid said the Senate will work on a supplemental spending package to help Superstorm Sandy victims before tackling revisions to filibuster rules.

McConnell again dismissed the idea that the Senate’s rules are the problem Tuesday.

“The Senate isn’t functioning as it should, and it has nothing to do with a process that has served us well for a very long time,” McConnell said. “But if we work together and strive to avoid some of the bad habits that have developed around here, I truly believe that we’ll be able to achieve the kinds of solutions that have eluded us for the past four years.”

Outside groups generally favorable to Democrats made another renewed push for more substantial rules changes Tuesday, however. Leaders of several groups, including NAACP President Ben Jealous, issued statements shortly before Reid spoke on the floor.

“The American people are losing faith in our democratic political process. We need to act now and end silent filibusters that run rampant in the U.S. Senate,” Jealous said. “The American people deserve more transparency and accountability and to hear a full debate on issues that have such a profound impact on their lives.”

Other matters on Reid’s agenda that were held over from the last Congress are a five-year farm program bill, legislation to revitalize and restore solvency to the Postal Service and a measure aimed at reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. Those are all bills that passed the Senate but did not lead to agreement with the House.

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