Politics McConnell warns Democrats not to change filibuster rule
McConnell on filibuster talk: Democrats want to 'vandalize' Senate rules
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) unloaded on Democrats Thursday amid renewed chatter about nixing the legislative filibuster if they win back the majority in November.McConnell, speaking from the Senate floor, noted that some progressives want to expand or reform the Supreme Court and that Democrats, more broadly, are calling for Washington, D.C. to be the 51st state."And to accomplish all this, destroying the Senate'sMcConnell, speaking from the Senate floor, noted that some progressives want to expand or reform the Supreme Court and that Democrats, more broadly, are calling for Washington, D.C. to be the 51st state.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) warned Democrats on Tuesday not to mess with the filibuster rule if they win control of the chamber in November.
He said eliminating the legislative filibuster by reducing the 60-vote threshold for passing bills to a simple majority would be a serious mistake.
"The important thing for our Democratic friends to remember is that you may not be in total control in the future, and anytime you start fiddling around with the rules of the Senate I think you always need to put yourself in the other fellow's shoes and just imagine what might happen when the wind shifts," McConnell told reporters when asked about an uptick in discussions among Democrats aboutif former Vice President Joe Biden wins the White House and they capture the Senate.
Filibuster reform gains steam with Democrats
Democrats are stepping talks about reforming or abolishing the filibuster if they win back the Senate and White House.The renewed discussions are being spurred by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), an outspoken liberal who has long championed a revamping the procedural tactic that Democrats see as a serious obstacle to passing legislation and confirming nominees.
McConnell defended his decision in 2017 to eliminate the 60-vote threshold for Supreme Court nominees, arguing that the controversial rules change brought the Senate back to its longstanding tradition of confirming justices by simple majority votes.
McConnell also argued that his decision to scrap the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees -- a move that came after his predecessor, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), ended the minority party's power to filibuster executive branch and most judicial nominees -- wasn't really revolutionary.
He noted that filibusters of judicial and executive branch nominees were a recent phenomenon.
"Even though it was possible on the executive calendar to filibuster nominees, it just wasn't done until Bush 43 got elected," he said referring to former President George W. Bush.
Democrats: A moment in history, use it wisely
Feeling bullish, Democrats have begun talk of eliminating the legislative filibuster in the Senate. Joe Biden knows better.If the present polling holds up through election day, such a powerful victory in the presidential race would almost certainly fuel victories down-ballot. Key Senate races in Maine, North Carolina, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa and Montana all appear to be trending in the Democratic direction. All of this suggests Democrats gaining control of the Senate.
McConnell said Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who was elected to the Senate in 1998, was the "ring leader" of shifting Senate strategy on opposing presidential nominees during the Bush administration.
"What would be a revolution and turn the Senate into the House would be to change the legislative filibuster," he said. "So do I feel strongly about it? You bet."
"If there are any responsible Democratic senators left who aren't going to be stampeded by the hard left, they ought to take a pause and think about whether they really think it's a good idea for the country to put the one institution that guarantees that America stayed in the middle of the road into the same place as the House," he said.
Asked if he would consider changing the legislative filibuster if Trump wins reelection and Republicans keep control of the Senate, McConnell ruled it out.
"I consistently said no to the current president on that issue and he tweeted about me a number of times, which I greatly appreciated," McConnell said, wryly joking about Trump's excoriating tweets about his refusal to change the rules.
Police reform hits impasse in Senate .
Prospects for a bipartisan deal is unraveling ahead of a Wednesday vote. Almost a month after George Floyd's death sparked calls for changes to the country's law enforcement system, senators appear to be at an impasse with no obvious path toward breaking the logjam.Democrats, absent an eleventh-hour breakthrough, are prepared to block the GOP police reform bill amid frustration with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) over the potential amendment process.Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) warned that the Republican measure — spearheaded by Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.