Time for Reid to back down

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will tolerate no opposition, especially if it threatens one of President Barack Obama’s pet projects.

Reid, D-Nev., has been called the most powerful majority leader in the Senate’s history. One reason for that is his willingness to change or even abandon Senate rules in place for decades or even generations, in order to get his way. Remember his “nuclear option” to limit debate on Obama’s nominees for federal offices?

Now Reid may be set to do it again, but this time in an even more critical context.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has been attempting to convince Reid to allow the Senate to provide some relief from Obama’s war on coal and reasonably priced electricity. Unless that happens, McConnell has vowed, he will lead a fight to amend some federal agency budgets in a manner that could curb the EPA.

In response, Reid has delayed consideration of 12 spending bills.

Apparently in a fit of pique, he also has threatened to change hallowed Senate rules that allow lengthy debate on critical issues. That would amount to an H-bomb of a “nuclear option.”

Reid’s actions threaten to set precedents that could damage the Senate’s very ability to function effectively. If he will not back away on his own, Democrat senators should rein him in.