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Things in the Senate Are a Little Bonkers Right Now.

Not to overstate things, but the game done changed in the Senate. 52 Democrats voted to the chamber’s rules on certain voting rules. Now, they only need a simple majority to conduct certain Senate-y business (like confirming some presidential nominees) instead of getting a full 60 votes, as they have in the past.

It’s a move on the part of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to help get the President’s appointees to the Federal Court of Appeals for DC, a fairly powerful group. Republicans had filibustered all the appointees, but this move curtails their power pretty severely. While bringing basic majority rule into such procedures may seem sort of elementary, it’ll shake things up on Capitol Hill. The New York Times is calling it “the most fundamental shift in the way the Senate functions in more than a generation.”

As a partisan move, it’s risky in that it could cut both ways (the Democrats won’t be the majority party in the Senate forever, after all). In terms of far ranging effects, it drastically limits the use and usefulness of filibusters. RIP, filibusters …

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