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McConnell: If Filibuster Goes, Expect 'Scorched-Earth Senate'

McConnell: If Filibuster Goes, Expect 'Scorched-Earth Senate'”

House Democrats have passed bills that would overhaul the USA election system, codify sexual orientation and gender identity protections into anti-discrimination law, criminalize unlicensed private firearm sales, among other progressive priorities that are unlikely to gain Republican support.

A number of Democrats have been licking their lips at the prospect of killing the legislative filibuster, which would do away with them needing to meet a 60-vote threshold to get bills through. All Republicans present voted against the bill, which doesn't bode well for future legislation that doesn't rely on reconciliation.

Democrats do not have the votes to eliminate a filibuster, but some key senators have spoken out in favor of some rule changes.

McConnell, a Republican, speaking on the Senate floor, mapped out dire consequences if Democrats sought to remove the filibuster completely. He told reporters Tuesday that despite McConnell's warnings, he was "just in the same place I've always been on the filibuster".

"Everybody's talking, there's so many different ideas out there".

Another option is reverting the legislative filibuster back to the 'talking filibuster, ' meaning senators would actually have to speak on the floor when enacting it.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer brushed off Mr McConnell's remarks as a "diversion" and said he hopes to work with Republicans on the upcoming bills, but said all options for filibuster changes are on the table.

Some Democrats want filibustering senators to be forced to hold the floor, as Jimmy Stewart did in the movie "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington". "You have to do what it used to be when I first got to the Senate, back in the old days".

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Biden: "I am. That's what it was supposed to be.It's getting to the point where, you know, democracy is having a hard time functioning".

Then Mr. McConnell quoted Mr. Durbin as trying to palm off on the good people of IL the idea that “the filibuster is not a core principle, but, quote, ‘an offhanded clerical suggestion.” Mr. McConnell went on to note that Senate Democrats are pressuring the senior Senators from West Virginia and Arizona “to abandon their own very recent commitments to honor this central rule of the Senate.”. Once they retake the Senate and the White House, he said, Republicans would then pass their own priorities with a simple majority, like defunding Planned Parenthood and sanctuary cities.

These days, the cloture rule requires 60 senators to agree to end debate on a topic and move to a vote. McConnell noted that a single senator could prevent the Senate from convening before noon, or force every bill to be read aloud before votes. Unlike Manchin, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) has not said she's open to any changes to the filibuster despite strong support for reform among her constituents.

The Democratic majority faces mounting pressure from progressives to kill the filibuster and pass major legislation to fulfill campaign promises from President Joe Biden.

While the Democratic-controlled House is able to swiftly approve a long list of potentially popular bills - to expand voting rights, extend gun purchase background checks and other measures - the rules of the Senate are more cumbersome. The Republican leader unloaded after a hapless Ben Cardin, senator of Maryland, while talking on Monday with Transportation Secretary Buttigieg, “accidentally” got caught by a hot-mic and, as the New York Post retailed the story, “outed plans to pass an infrastructure bill without Republican votes.”.

"He has already done that. He's proven he can do it and he'll do it again", Durbin said. "We'd strengthen America with all kinds of conservative policies with zero input from the other side", McConnell said.

"Senator McConnell taught me that I was wrong". If Democrats do manage to reform the filibuster, you have to assume this much: They will not go through all that trouble simply to leave Mitch McConnell with a veto over their agenda.



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