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But the GOP backed down when a bipartisan group emerged and settled on a gentleman’s agreement that headed off the rules change, but preserved the right to filibuster.

Sen. Mark Pryor, one of the three Democrats to oppose the rules change, said he feared his party had cut off the chances for bipartisanship.

“Today’s use of the ‘nuclear option’ could permanently damage the Senate and have negative ramifications for the American people,” he said. “During my time in the Senate, I’ve played key roles in the Gang of 14 and other bipartisan coalitions to help us reach common-sense solutions that both sides of the aisle can support. This institution was designed to protect —not stamp out — the voices of the minority.”