House Speaker John A. Boehner said Thursday that if Democrats change Senate rules to limit filibusters, any bill they send over to the House under the new procedures “would be dead on arrival.”
“Senate Democrats’ attempt to break Senate rules in order to change Senate rules is clearly designed to marginalize Senate Republicans and their constituents while greasing the skids for controversial partisan measures,” Mr. Boehner said in a statement. “Any bill that reaches a Republican-led House based on Senate Democrats’ heavy-handed power play would be dead on arrival.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said he will try to change Senate rules on the first day of the new Congress next year to try to limit when the minority party can filibuster, though he will not do away with the tactic altogether.
But Republicans say worse than the change itself is how Mr. Reid is going about it. He plans to use his expanded majority to change the rules by majority vote on the day the Senate convenes — the only time that procedure is allowed. Most major rules changes in the Senate are adopted by two-thirds vote, as a way to ensure they are bipartisan.
Mr. Boehner’s vow makes good on something Sen. Mitch McConnell, the top Senate Republican, hinted at earlier this week, when he said Democrats would be unlikely to gain any political advantage since the House is still controlled by the GOP.