Here are some of the news story quotes we woke up to this morning, GAH: ancient tribal casino chieftain Harry Reid “pulled the nuclear option” trick in the Senate and as a result the entire chamber is now “in chaos,” (because it is enveloped in a giant ball of radioactive flames) and the Republicans are littered across the Senate floor in tiny, rapidly mutating shards because they “did not expect Reid to bring heavy artillery to what had been a humdrum knife fight.” SO MUCH VIOLENCE, COMRADE REID! Ha, no, all Harry Reid did was change a procedural voting rule to prevent Republicans from introducing endless non-germane amendments to a Chinese currency-related bill after the Senate voted to defeat a filibuster (zzzzz), but let the record show that news of Harry Reid “doing something, anything” other than whining about Republicans must now be written about as TOTAL WAR.
Try to sit through this explanation of the mayhem from POLITICO so we can get to the fun Mitch McConnell quote at the end:
By a 51-48 vote, the Senate voted along party lines to change the precedent and limit how amendments can be considered once a filibuster is defeated. Under normal procedure, the Senate has 30 hours of debate after 60 senators agree to end a filibuster. Amendments can be considered during those 30 hours if each side agrees by unanimous consent to schedule a vote — or if a senator moves to waive the rules, which would then require the support of 67 senators in order to succeed.
But under the new procedure, senators can no longer move to waive the rules once a filibuster is defeated — a battle that threatens to further inflame partisan tensions and stymie legislative action at a time when frustration with Congress is at an all-time high.
While the rules change may not seriously affect the substance of pending legislation, the process employed by Democrats could be replicated in the future to overhaul bedrock rules like the filibuster. For that reason, both parties have tried to avoid employing such tactics to change the rules over the last several congressional sessions, including in a fierce 2005 battle that nearly limited the use of the filibuster.
AND NOW MITCH MCCONNELL:
“We are fundamentally turning the Senate into the House,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), pacing on the floor, with his voice rising, referring to the other body’s rules that can limit floor debate.
YEAH, HARRY REID, is this what you wanted? For the Senate to be some poor lady who wakes up one day to find she’s grown a thick beard overnight so she is forced to go off and join John Boehner’s evil circus of doom? [POLITICO/The Hill/TPM]