2005: “If there were ever an example of an abuse of power, this is it. … The filibuster is the last check we have against the abuse of power in Washington.”
2008: After becoming Senate majority leader, Mr. Reid swore that as long as he was leader, he would never turn to the nuclear option,saying it would be a “black chapter in the history of the Senate.” In his book published that year, he said a rules change weakening the filibuster would be the equivalent to opening Pandora’s box. “Simply put, [it] would be the end of the United States Senate,” he wrote.
2013: “The American people believe Congress is broken. The American people believe the Senate is broken…It’s time to change the Senate before this institution becomes obsolete.”
2005: “What [Americans] don’t expect is for one party – be it Republican or Democrat – to change the rules in the middle of the game so that they can make all the decisions while the other party is told to sit down and keep quiet. … I sense that talk of the nuclear option is more about power than about fairness. I believe some of my colleagues propose this rules change because they can get away with it rather than because they know it’s good for our democracy.”
To go through with the nuclear option, argued Sen. Obama, would be "to change the rules in the middle of the game so that they can make all the decisions while the other party is told to sit down and keep quiet."Most notably, Senator Obama predicted, "one day, Democrats will be in the majority again, and this rule change will be no fairer to a Republican minority than it is to a Democratic minority."
2005: “I pray God, when the Democrats take back control, we don’t do the kind of naked power grab that you are doing now.” “This nuclear option is ultimately an example of the arrogance of power. It is a fundamental power grab by the majority party propelled by its extreme right and designed to change the reading of the Constitution, particularly as it relates to individual rights and property rights.” “Once you change the rules and surrender the Senate’s institutional power, you never get it back.”
2005: “But the long-term, destructive consequences of triggering the nuclear option would be profound for our system of government. For more than two centuries, Senate rules and traditions have respected the rights of the minority. That would be destroyed.”
2005: “The enduring strength and beauty of the U.S. Senate is that we not only operate by rules, but that those rules provide protections for the minority. More than 200 years of Senate rulings have affirmed that this body stands against the tyranny of the majority that our Founding Fathers cautioned us about.”
2013: “I don’t favor using the nuclear option, which violates the rules, to change the rules. … I think the complications are so severe for a whole lot of causes.”
2013: “They will rue the day that they broke the rules to change the rules.”