Reid Says Gains Should Shut Down Filibusters

Posted November 4, 2008 at 11:09pm

An exuberant Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said his party’s gains Tuesday night should effectively shut down the Republicans’ ability to filibuster the agenda of Senate Democrats and President-elect Barack Obama.

Even though it appears unlikely that Democrats can secure a filibuster-proof 60-vote threshold, Reid said Republicans would be “foolish” to continue their record-breaking pace of blocking or stalling legislation. He asserted that two centrist Maine Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, would likely help him break any legislative blockades thrown up by more conservative Republicans.

“They’re not going to be able to filibuster now,” Reid said in an interview. “We have a few Senators from Maine, and we’re going to have [Republican presidential nominee Sen.] John McCain [Arizona], who’s never been a filibusterer.”

Reid added, “I feel confident we’re going to be able to move things.”

So far, Senate Democrats have picked up five more seats in the Senate, bringing them to at least a majority of 56. Reid said he was still hoping for Democratic victories in Oregon, Minnesota and Alaska.