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In the Senate, crisis averted — for now
Faced with another crisis over one of its least democratic traditions, the U.S. Senate appears to have blown off enough steam to avoid a messy and divisive showdown over the use of the filibuster. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and a handful of Republicans, notably Sen. John McCain, tentatively agreed to a deal that will allow several of President Barack Obama's executive branch nominees to receive confirmation votes — a rare but encouraging example of the two parties working together. Ultimately, though, it does not resolve the fate of a procedural tactic that has been abused by both Democrats and Republicans (though somewhat more egregiously by the GOP) to stifle majority rule in a way that hinders the nation's ability to govern itself.
July 17, 2013