WASHINGTON (AP) — A brewing and potentially bitter battle over Democratic efforts to limit filibusters could increase partisan tensions in the Senate just as President Barack Obama and Republicans are trying to find a compromise on major issues such as debt reduction and taxes.
There could be a showdown Senate vote in January that would put limits on filibusters, which minority parties long have used to try thwarting majority legislation.
But even before that vote, the simmering dispute could mar the cooperative tone that Obama and GOP leaders have struck since Tuesday's election.
Bipartisan compromise will be needed during Congress' upcoming lame-duck session to avert the "fiscal cliff" in early January. That's when major tax increases and spending cuts will be triggered unless lawmakers head them off.