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On Thursday, the Senate approved two resolutions making both temporary and permanent procedural changes—to the detriment of the rights of the minority party as well as individual Senators on both sides of the aisle.

The first resolution was in the form of a standing rule to be in place for two years that addresses a new means to proceed to bills and an exemption for certain nominations from the threat of a filibuster.

S.Res. 15, which passed by a vote of 78-16, guarantees each party two amendments, but restricts the ability to filibuster proceeding to debate on an underlying matter. This measure, among other things, sought to assuage Senate Republicans’ complaint that Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) “fills the amendment tree” as means to block conservative amendments to bills. This procedure blocks any amendments from being offered by Senate conservatives and serves to squelch the only voice minority-party and non-leadership Senators possess.

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