Those who have followed the Filibuster Campaign will be pleased to know that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has taken a first step and announced that he will call for a cloture vote on Levin-Reed (begin withdrawals in 120 days, all troops out except for specified purposes, a big loophole, by April 2008) and if cloture passes, there will follow under the Senate rules 30 continuous hours of debate on the measure. They will also debate the amendment in the interim. So debate we will have, at least on this measure. What happens then will be interesting.
What Reid proposes to do about the other amendments and hundreds of bills awaiting action will depend at least in part on what happens with this first step. But this has got to be only the beginning. It's time to call the GOP's bluff. Encourage Reid to keep up the fight by sigining the petition at Campaign for America's Future.
Here's more from Open Left.
Update II-- It looks like I was right the first time. Majority leader Reid is setting a cloture vote for tomorrow. If the cloture motion passes and debate is shut off, there can be 30 hours of debate. Here's how a Senate staffer explained to TPM Election Central what would happen when the cloture motion comes up for a vote tomorrow:
Under Rule 22, whether or not the Senate stays in session all night tonight or Tuesday night, that vote [on the cloture motion] will happen one hour after the Senate convenes on Wednesday (unless the Senate agrees by unanimous consent to a different time for the vote). If the cloture motion fails, then debate on the amendment continues and the 30 hour time limit never starts. So what Reid is doing is simply using his power as majority leader to keep the Senate open while the cloture motion "ripens."
So it will be a real filibuster, apparently, in the sense that "debate on the amendment continues" --until it doesn't. The "30 hours" only comes into play if the cloture motion passes. So Reid will need to be pressured to keep debate on the (minimally acceptable) Levin-Reed amendment until there is an up-or-down vote on the amendment. This, today, is just theatrics.