Mitch McConnell's amazing filibuster of his own bill

As the Senate minority leader discovered, political point-scoring doesn't always go as planned

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and fellow Republicans at a Dec. 4 news conference.
(Image credit: Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

Parliamentary procedure is as baffling and dull to most people as it is important to our legislative process. But the Senate gave us a very watchable — interesting, even — little civics lesson on Thursday, when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) filibustered a bill he had introduced only hours earlier. The bill at hand was a measure proposed by the White House, based on a "last-choice," one-off fix McConnell himself came up with in the 2011 debt-ceiling standoff, to take America's borrowing limit out of Congress' hands — the president could raise the debt ceiling, and Congress could override him only with a veto-proof majority. McConnell introduced the bill to show that President Obama doesn't have the votes for such a measure even in the Democrat-controlled Senate. Well on Thursday, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called his bluff, and this is what happened:

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