Wouldn’t surprise me.
Senate Democratic leaders are actively considering invoking the “nuclear option” to gut the filibuster if Republican senators block a year-long increase of the debt limit, according to several sources familiar with the matter.
The highly controversial move would allow Senate Democrats to pass a debt limit hike through 2014 with just 51 Democratic votes, rather than the 60 that would ordinarily be required to overcome a filibuster.
There is still debate internally among top Democrats on whether to go this route, and it remains unclear whether it will come to pass. But in a brief interview Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) would not rule out the option, instead voicing optimism that Democrats would be able to win enough GOP support to advance his plan to avoid the first-ever default on U.S. debt. The plan is expected to raise the $16.7 trillion borrowing limit by about $1 trillion.
“I feel confident we will get an increase in the debt ceiling,” Reid said when asked if he would invoke the nuclear option if he failed to get 60 votes.
Asked again if the nuclear option was a back-up plan, Reid said: “I’m not going to speculate on anything.”