Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nevada) is facing a dilemma. Congress returned to session today after the Fourth of July holiday weekend and Mr. Reid is looking at a full roster of outstanding issues. An immigration reform bill, which was passed by the Senate, must now pass the House of Representatives. The nation’s college students who use federally-backed loans to finance their education were dealt a blow when, on July 1st, student loan interest rates were allowed to double to 6.8 percent. Food stamps, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, were left in jeopardy as representatives couldn’t come to agreement about the Farm Bill, of which food stamps are a part. So, if that isn’t problem enough, what else does Mr. Reid need on his plate? Coming to terms with Republicans before the nation faces another debt ceiling debacle.
With the debt ceiling looming and the country’s outstanding bills coming due — and outstanding business such as judges and nominations in addition to the aforementioned issues — can Mr. Reid attempt to change the Senate rules by getting rid of the current three-fifths majority for a simple majority without facing regret in the event that the GOP gains Senate control during 2014’s elections?
Stay tuned. Mitch McConnell has already indicated that any attempt on Reid’s part to change the voting and filibuster rules is a decision he’ll regret.
As for the taxpayers? Those of us who do not hold a political office regret having a congress that doesn’t accomplish much.