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The Hill: ‘Old Bulls’ for new rules

With Senators Tom Udall and Jeff Merkley, who were first elected in 2008, leading this year’s charge for Senate Rules changes, both supporters and opponents of filibuster reform depict the effort as a young man’s game. Senator Mitch McConnell dismissed the initiative as the machinations of a “cohort of short-sighted Senate sophomores.” Journalist George Packer, a reform proponent, describes Senator Carl Levin and other filibuster defenders as “Catos [who] see themselves as steady hands trying to keep the hallowed old institution from being changed out of recognition by young barbarians like Merkley, Warren, and Tom Udall.”

Although Udall and Merkley are the public faces of filibuster reform this year, and while many of the staunchest defenders of the status quo have served long tenures, long-serving members are also on the frontlines advocating reform.