Senate Republicans open door to weakening the filibuster

McConnell has appointed a special task force to explore changes to the filibuster rule and other procedural hurdles — including whether to eliminate filibusters on motions to proceed to legislation. That’s a tactic the minority often uses to shut down a bill before amendments can be considered.

McConnell has tapped his close ally, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), and Senate Rules Committee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) to form a task force with Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and two other freshmen to weigh various reforms. They hope to implement the changes at the start of next year.

“We’re going to take a serious look at whether Senate rules ought to be changed in order to make the Senate work more effectively,” Alexander said.

“A number of the new senators have come in looking around saying, ‘Why are we doing things this way and not that way,’” he added.