Harry Reid has become the most powerful Senate majority leader in history according to a review by TheHill.com.
Congressional experts say the Nevada Democrat has used more strong-arm tactics than his predecessors, has a firm grip on his Democratic colleagues and has played a major role in changing the once-collegial Senate.
Republicans, eyeing a return to the majority in the upper chamber, are alleging an abuse of power by Reid as well as President Obama. They call the majority leader “a dictator” and have labeled the Obama era an “imperial presidency.”
Democrats counter that “obstructionist” Republicans should look in the mirror, claiming they have tried to work with the GOP on a range of issues.
American journalist Robert Caro famously dubbed Lyndon Baines Johnson the “master of the Senate,” but experts say Reid now wields more power than Johnson ever did.
Reid’s tight leadership reins have protected vulnerable Democrats from having to take tough votes and helped them amass a 55-seat majority. He routinely puts legislation on the floor as a take-it-or-leave-it proposition, denying the minority and even members of his own caucus the chance to amend it.
Republicans point out they were allowed to vote on only nine of their proposed amendments since July of last year.
Parliamentary experts say Reid has managed the floor debate much more strictly than his predecessors.