I really hope they manage to get a handle on this filibuster rule, because 2011 isn't going to be a very productive year if they don't:
A proposal by Tom Udall would grant the Senate majority party the option of changing any procedural rule, including the filibuster, by a simple majority vote at the beginning of each Congress. A milder version advanced by Mark Udall and congressional scholar Norman Ornstein of the conservative American Enterprise Institute would restrict the use of the filibuster by the minority party, while limiting the majority's control over minority amendments.
Reid told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow in late October that he would seek changes to the filibuster rule, but Durbin said in an interview last week: "We have not decided what to do. I think we all hope everyone agrees that we have wasted a lot of time in the Senate. Many of us are impatient. We didn't run for this job to sit in our offices and watch the clerk call the roll. But what will our Republican colleagues join us in doing?"
The GOP response has been cool, but not uniformly so. Sen.-elect Dan Coats of Indiana, who served in the chamber during the 1990s, told Fox News on Nov. 6 that the filibuster "is a barrier."
"At the very least we need to remove the 60-vote rule for bringing a bill to the floor and actually debating it and voting on it," Coats said. "The American people deserve that we are transparent with them, that we take one item at a time, that we register our yeas and our nays and be accountable to the American people for what we've done."