Reid Wants 8 More Years as Senate Leader
By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 12:41 p.m. today
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sounds like a man who intends to stay in his office into the next decade.
“I don’t want to do it more than eight more years,” the Nevada Democrat said of serving as his party’s leader in the Senate during a Wednesday interview with CQ Roll Call.
Reid is up for re-election in 2016 and has repeatedly said he intends to run again. He reiterated that intention again on Wednesday and indicated he’s looking at serving another full term running the Senate, if Democrats hold onto the majority the entire time. If he and Democrats are able to hold onto power that long, Reid would be the leader for 16 years, matching the current record set by the legendary Montana Democrat Mike Mansfield.
Reid dismissed the idea he was particularly looking to the Mansfield record as a marker, however. Reid celebrated his 74th birthday earlier this month, meaning he would be into his 80s by the time his next term would end at the beginning of 2023.
As long as he remains leader, Reid said he would not rule out more changes to Senate rules and precedents as a way to impose further limits on debate and filibusters. Just last month, Reid used the “nuclear option” to eliminate filibusters on most nominations.
He didn’t sound eager to make more changes in the immediate future, however.
“I hope we don’t, and I hope it’s not necessary,” Reid said, noting the increase in the number of filibusters over the past several decades. “I’m not precluding anything. It’s just according to how we get along here.”
Reid criticized the delays in recent weeks on considering nominations and other Senate business in the aftermath of deploying the nuclear option to change the nomination rules with only Democratic caucus votes.
As for the more immediate prospects of holding the majority in next year’s elections, Reid maintained his optimism Wednesday, saying he thought the tide would turn more in favor of Democrats.
“We’re always very honed-in on the races. We feel pretty good about how things are going,” Reid said.