What the Senate Filibuster Deal Does—and Doesn't Do

| Sat Jan. 26, 2013 12:33 AM EST
From left: Mitchell McConnell, Jimmy Stewart filibustering in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," and Harry Reid.

After more than a week of negotiations, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) cut a deal for the  filibuster reform package that sailed through the Senate on Thursday. Unfortunately for fans of real filibuster reform, who expected Reid to win at least some GOP concessions—like a proposal by Sen. Al Franken's (D-Minn.) that would force the minority party to muster at least 41 votes to continue a filibuster, rather than force the majority to find 60 to end it—the final package looked strangely like the minority-friendly one proposed last month by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.).

The first part of the Reid-McConnell deal, Senate Resolution 15, creates a temporary "standing order" that will expire with the end of the current Congress in 2015. The second part, Senate Resolution 16, is a permanant change. Here's a breakdown on what it accomplishes—and doesn't.

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