Politics Mitch McConnell Sparks Backlash Over 'Scorched-Earth Senate' Warning
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Senate Minority Leader(R-KY) has been criticized after suggesting ditching the filibuster could create a "scorched-earth ," with adversaries taking issues with his past actions in the upper chamber.
McConnell has called for the legislative filibuster to be protected,—suggesting this will allow discussions for a power-sharing agreement to move forward.
Democrats may have regained the Senate, but McConnell is blocking them from taking up Biden's agenda
Minority Leader McConnell has brought the Senate to standstill by balking at a power-sharing deal over concerns about the filibuster.The Kentucky senator, who's been relegated to minority leader, has not yet reached a power-sharing deal with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, which is required in order for the Senate to re-organize and move forward with its work after Democrats took the majority on Wednesday.
Commenting on floor remarks he made on Tuesday, McConnell said: "I made clear that ifever attack the key Senate rules, it would drain the consent and comity out of the institution.
"A scorched-earth Senate would hardly be able to function. It wouldn't be a progressive's dream. It would be a nightmare."
His tweet ended: "I guarantee it."
Today, I made clear that if Democrats ever attack the key Senate rules, it would drain the consent and comity out of the institution. A scorched-earth Senate would hardly be able to function. It wouldn’t be a progressive’s dream. It would be a nightmare.
I guarantee it.— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) January 26, 2021
The Senate requires collaboration and deliberation. It’s a feature, not a bug, that slim majorities can't ram through half-baked ideas.
Filibuster drama explained: McConnell will organize the new Senate now that he's confident Democrats won't gut the filibuster
Voices on both sides have called for filibuster reform in the past few years, citing partisan gridlock.Before allowing the new Democrat-controlled Senate to begin work, McConnell wanted a promise that Democrats would not eliminate the filibuster.
My remarks on the legislative filibuster and why I stuck up for the minority’s rights even when Republicans had power: https://t.co/vtKFPDeVJe— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) January 26, 2021
His scorched earth comments echoed remarks he made on the Senate floor, defending the legislative filibuster.
McConnell's remarks swiftly drew criticism, with the confirmation ofto the towards the end of President 's tenure frequently referenced. Barrett's appointment was , much to the dismay of Democrats, despite having previously opposed former President 's attempts to appoint to .
"You lost all credibility when you stole a Supreme Court seat," Rep.(D-MN) wrote, in response to McConnell's tweet.
McConnell and Schumer ended their standoff over the new Senate. Who won and what happened?
And why were they talking about the filibuster at all? But why did Democrats need Republican agreement in the first place, if Democrats’ 50 Senate seats meant that Vice President Harris could break any tie? What was the dust-up about the filibuster, and did McConnell lose — or get what he wanted? And what does this skirmish portend about the next two years for President Biden’s ambitious agenda?
"The filibuster is a Jim Crow relic. It represents everything wrong with Washington.
Zac Petkanas, a Democratic strategist and former adviser to, referred to past actions by McConnell as he questioned the minority leader's comments.
"Will you...refuse to hold a vote on a Supreme Court justice nominated by a Dem president?
"Or jam through a replacement to RBG days before an election?
"Or spend a week blocking Dems from taking control of the senate?
"Trembling about your threat of FUTURE scorched earth tactics," Petkanas tweeted.
Joyce Vance, a distinguished professor of the practice of law at the University of Alabama and former U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama (https://www.law.ua.edu/directory/People/view/Joyce_Vance), branded McConnell's comments hypocritical.
Vance responded to his remarks onand wrote: "Merrick Garland. Amy Coney Barrett. Stop being a hypocrite."
Scott Dworkin, co-founder of campaign organization The Democratic Coalition, suggested the situation could not be made worse from his viewpoint than when McConnell was in charge of the Senate as majority leader.
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"Dude our nightmare was every day you've run the Senate. Nothing could be worse than that. I guarantee it," Dworkin tweeted, in response to McConnell's comments.
Newsweek has contacted McConnell's office for comment on the reaction to his comments.
McConnell welcomed the Democratic support over the filibuster as a victory, though a representative for Senate Majority Leader(D-NY) framed it more as a capitulation after he had asked for assurances it would be kept.
"We're glad Sen. McConnell threw in the towel and gave up on his ridiculous demand," Justin Goodman, a spokesman for Schumer,.
: "With these assurances, I look forward to moving ahead with a power-sharing agreement modeled on that precedent.
He added in a tweet: "With this win, we can move forward with a 50-50 power-sharing agreement built on the 2001 precedent."
What's gotten into Mitch McConnell? (opinion) .
Why has the Senate minority leader made a series of recent moves that break with many of his fellow Republicans? Freedom from the shackles of the Trump presidency, and his astute political calculation that he has a now-or-never opportunity to lead the GOP away from the toxicity of Trump and QAnon crazies like Marjorie Taylor Greene, writes Richard Bond.Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has recently become the Republican Party's leading truth teller. He started by directly blaming Donald Trump for inciting the January 6 Capitol riot, something most of his fellow Republican senators have been unwilling to do.