There is pressure for filibuster reform in the Senate.  Passing the threshold of sixty to even hold a vote was hard in the last couple of years when the Democrats had a large majority.  It’s going to be near impossible now their ranks are smaller.  Changing the rules has a short run benefit – easier to get stuff passed – but a long run cost – the Republicans will use the same rules to pass their legislation when Sarah Palin is President.  Taking the long view, the Democrats decided not to go this route.

By the same token, the kind delaying tactics that did not work in the lame duck session are an efficiency loss  – they had little real effect on legislation but delayed the Senators taking the kind of long holidays they are used to.   Some movement on delaying tactics is mutually beneficial.  And so according to the NYT:

“Mr. Reid pledged that he would exercise restraint in using his power to block Republicans from trying to offer amendments on the floor, in exchange for a Republican promise to not try to erect procedural hurdles to bringing bills to the floor.

And in exchange for the Democratic leaders agreeing not to curtail filibusters by means of a simple majority vote, as some Democratic Senators had wanted to do, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, said he would refrain from trying that same tactic in two years, should the Republicans gain control of the Senate in the next election.”

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