- Majority vote on all executive branch nominations
- No holds on judicial nominations
Replace reconciliation with a free bill: one bill a year with a time certain for consideration. That's right, Superbill! One bill that can't be filibustered. What could the majority stick in it? Whatever they wanted! It could, if they have the votes, contain the entire legislative agenda. But the bill would be subject to amendments (limited only to prevent an infinite filibuster-by-amendment), meaning that the minority would have some tools available to sink it (sauce for the goose ... the amendments would need just a simple majority, too). Superbill would have to pass the House, too, so that's another constraint. I don't think the House would need to be involved in creating it ... from the House's point of view, it's just a bill (and it might well include multiple bills that passed the House separately). Of course, there would be significant coordination problems, but that's just another constraint.The problem is that Superbill! is a sort of, well, dorky name. It's just a placeholder -- I'll be happy to rename it after any Senator to take it up as his or her proposal. The Udall bill? The Harkin bill? The Bennet bill? The McCaskill bill? The Reid bill? Courageous Republicans: the Coburn bill?
Meanwhile, if anyone has a better idea for a placeholder name, please suggest it in comments.
And yes, I know that plenty of people believe that the Senate should be completely controlled by the majority party, just as the House has been for the last thirty or so years. That's an argument we could have on democratic theory grounds, but in practice what matters is that it isn't what Senators want, and it's fairly unlikely that we'll get it. What's much more likely is that at some time in the not-distant future, with unified government but gridlock in the Senate, the majority party will credibly threaten to impose majority rule by majority vote, and the minority party will (probably) negotiate for a compromise. In my view, adding Superbill (along with nomination reform, and a few other minor changes) is a good fit. But, yeah, it likely needs a better name, so, help!