The Republicans’ Filibuster Rout

Sen. Jeff Flake, living to fight another day

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

This story was filed from the Senate yesterday after the wise men of the legislative process avoided a “nuclear option” of filibuster reform. Basically, they gave Democrats almost everything they wanted, and gave Republicans only a chance to save face and, in the words of Sen. Jeff Flake, to “fight another day.”

Politico’s wrap gets deeper into the details. (In my defense, I’m one reporter, and they are legion.) Republicans had spent two years in trench warfare against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, refusing to let it exist in its current form. The bargaining chip—let us tweak the management and funding structure, and we’ll confirm the director—was shredded. Ohio Sen. Rob Portman now says the broken impasse will maybe lead to a vote on his bill to create a CFPB inspector general, but that’s much less than what Republicans wanted.

Also from Politico: It’s now known that McConnell offered Democrats a whole loaf, and the ability to confirm all of their nominees on the condition that they swore not to come up to the line on the “nuclear option” again. Democrats chose instead to dump two NLRB nominees and reserve the right to play this game. And one of the new nominees they picked as a replacement was Nancy Schiffer, associate general counsel of the AFL-CIO—an arguably more liberal pick!