House Speaker John Boehner
WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Speaker John Boehner is backing Senate Republican efforts to stop Democrats from curbing Senate filibusters.
Boehner, the Ohio Republican, says legislation that the Senate sends his chamber will go nowhere if majority Senate Democrats use a "heavy-handed power play" to block minority Republicans from using filibusters.
Boehner's threat represents an escalation of a bitter partisan fight that has been brewing in the Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said that on the first day of the new Congress in January, he may take the unusual step of using a simple majority vote to limit filibusters. Usually it takes a two-thirds vote to change Senate rules.
Minority parties in the Senate use filibusters - parliamentary delays - to slow or kill legislation.