Mitch McConnell Promises GOP Will Strike Back If Filibuster Changed
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, has promised that members of the GOP will strike back if Democrats make changes to the legislative filibuster, making a personal guarantee that the business of governing would end up becoming very, very difficult for his colleagues on the other side of the aisle, according to a report from The Hill.
Those are some strong words. Let’s hope McConnell actually means them.
Speaking from the Senate floor Tuesday, McConnell argued that changing the filibuster requirement — that most legislation needs 60 votes to advance — would effectively “silence the voices of millions and millions of Americans” represented by Republican senators.
“We will make their voices heard in this chamber in ways that are more inconvenient for the majority and this White House than what anybody has seen in living memory,” McConnell went on to say. “What would a post-nuclear Senate look like? I assure you it would not be more efficient or more productive. I personally guarantee it.”
Throughout the day, the Senate operates on unanimous consent, or deals that have the support of the entire chamber. If Democrats change the filibuster, McConnell warned that Republicans would be willing to block those customary agreements, making it more difficult for Democrats to accomplish day-to-day tasks.
“Do my colleagues understand how many times per day the Senate needs and gets unanimous consent for basic housekeeping? Do they understand how many things would require roll-call votes, how often the minority could demand lengthy debate?” the Kentucky Republican said.
McConnell’s warning comes as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has said that he will bring up election-related legislation this week and a proposal to change the rules if Republicans block it from getting the 60 votes needed to change the filibuster.
Democrats aren’t sure yet what the proposal would end up looking like. They are still floating around several different ideas, but to alter the rules without support from Republicans, they would have to have unity from all 50 of their own members, which they do not have as of this writing.
“Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., have both been supportive of the 60-vote filibuster and don’t appear likely to go along with Schumer’s plan,” the report said.
“We need some good rules changes,” Manchin stated. “We can do that together. Getting rid of the filibuster doesn’t make it work better.”