A bipartisan group of Senators did their level best to save the Senate from tossing the filibuster this week. In the run-up to the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch, there were secret meetings held in the Senate to avoid the death of the filibuster. That did not happen. Here is where you find out why.
A group of senators secretly tried to negotiate an end to the Senate’s decade-long judicial wars. But distrust ran too deep.
A week before Republicans gutted the filibuster to put Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, nine senators gathered in John McCain’s office to see whether they could save the Senate from spiraling further into disrepair.
In the room were centrists like Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), who spearheaded the effort to recruit enough senators to avoid the collision course their party leaders were on, as well as some lawmakers who had distanced themselves from such talks but were willing to listen, such as Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.).
Aides paced outside during the 30-minute midday meeting, hoping to keep away prying reporters. For several weeks, Coons had been asking himself whether the long-running tit-for-tat between the two parties over judicial nominations would ever end.
“Are we just going to sit here and pee on each others’ shoes for the rest of our adult lives?” Coons said of what spurred his bid to try and save the filibuster. “How does this ever get better?”
The second-term senator circulated a proposal calling on senators in both parties to admit they’d abused the Senate rules to the detriment of the institution — and commit to not do so again in the future. It was designed to be painful and cathartic: Republicans would express regret for blocking Merrick Garland last year; Democrats would do the same for a 2013 rules change that set the stage for this year’s nuclear option.
CONTINUE READING SECRET HERE: Inside the failed secret mission to save the filibuster