Boehner Threatens Backlash to Dems' Filibuster Plan

Ben Schreckinger

A Democratic proposal to curb the filibuster by amending Senate rules would provoke a backlash from House Republicans, House Speaker John Boehner said, according to the Associated Press. "Any bill that reaches a Republican-led House based on Senate Democrats' heavy-handed power play would be dead on arrival," Boehner said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has unveiled a plan to amend the rules for the filibuster with a simple majority vote at the outset of the chamber’s next session in January. The change to Senate rules would limit use of the filibuster and force filibustering senators to maintain the floor, rather than merely indicate an intention to filibuster a bill. 

The plan has drawn the ire of Senate Republicans, but it’s rare for a speaker to weigh in on Senate procedural matters. Boehner said the plan "is clearly designed to marginalize Senate Republicans and their constituents,” and that it comes "at a time when cooperation on Capitol Hill is critical."

Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, fired back, calling Boehner’s opinion “irrelevant” and saying, “it is a shame to see Speaker Boehner join Senator McConnell’s desperate attempt to double down on the status quo of Republican-led gridlock in Washington.” 

Meanwhile, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., threatened late Thursday to filibuster amendments to the defense bill until his own amendment, which would make it harder to stop mentally ill veterans from owning guns, comes to a vote.