BREAKING: Senators Strike Filibuster Deal

McCain describes the details:

We’re here, 14 Republicans and Democrats, seven on each side, to announce that we have reached an agreement to try to avert a crisis in the United States Senate and pull the institution back from a precipice that would have had, in the view of all 14 of us, lasting impact, damaging impact on the institution.

I’m grateful for the efforts of Senator Frist and Senator Reid to come to an agreement on this issue. We appreciate very much their leadership. And we all appreciate each other’s involvement, but probably the two that I’d like to point out here that provided us with a beacon of where we should go is Senator Byrd, our distinguished senior Democrat leader, and Senator Warner who both were vital to this process.

You have before you the agreement and I won’t go in the details of it. But basically, all 14 of us have pledged to vote for cloture for the judicial nominees Janice Rogers Brown, William Pryor and Priscilla Owen.


The signatories make no commitment to vote for or against cloture on two judges, William Myers and Henry Saad. Future nominations will — the signatories will exercise their responsibilities and the nominees should only be filibusters under extraordinary circumstances.

And in light of this commitment and a continuing commitment, we will try to do everything in our power to prevent filibusters in the future.

This agreement is meant in the finest traditions of the Senate it was entered into: trust, respect and mutual desire to see the institution of the Senate function in ways that protect the rights of the minority.

So I’m very pleased to stand here with my other colleagues tonight and I believe that that good-will will prevail.

Nothing in this agreement prevents any individual senator from exercising his or her individual rights.

I would like to ask Senator Nelson and Senator Pryor, but I want to, again, thank my colleagues. And I believe that most Americans would like for us to work these issues out rather than pursue the procedure that we have just departed from, I hope.