UPDATE: 3:11 p.m. -- The Senate will reform the filibuster within the next day and a half -- whether Republicans go along or not, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday afternoon.
"I hope that within the next 24 to 36 hours we can get something we agree on. If not, we're going to move forward on what I think needs to be done," Reid told reporters. "The caucus will support me on that," he added.
He specified that he has the 51 votes he needs to proceed on a Democratic plan, indicating he's willing to pursue the "constitutional option" of changing the rules without the usual two-thirds vote. Previously, a number of senior Democrats had professed reluctance to change the rules with a simple majority, saying they feared it would set a dangerous precedent. Opponents have called the tactic the "nuclear option."
The sudden deadline puts fresh pressure on the GOP to get on board, and Reid said he and his staff have been negotiating with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), as recently as Tuesday.
Earlier, Reid had said the Senate would tackle the rules reform after passing Superstorm Sandy aid.
Filibuster reform will be the top item on the U.S. Senate's agenda after dealing with delayed aid for the victims of Superstorm Sandy, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pledged Tuesday.
"Once we complete that vital legislation, the Senate will take action to make this institution that we all love, the United States Senate, work more effectively," Reid said, calling for an end to the uncompromising legislative style that has driven hundreds of filibusters in recent years.