Mitch McConnell’s Statement to the Democrats on Filibuster is Igniting a Firestorm

Written by Kyle Becker

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is angering Republicans with a “power-sharing agreement” with Democrats, after the 2020 elections led to a 50-50 split in the U.S. Senate. The Democrats hold the tie-breaker vote with Kamala Harris being the President of the Senate and her replacement Senator Alex Padilla being sworn in to take her place.

“Mitch McConnell drops his demand that Dems agree not to nuke the legislative filibuster and agrees to rules resolution. But spins it to says he’s satisfied with the public “assurances” of two Senate Dems — Manchin and Sinema — who in fact only reiterated their previous positions,” The Hill’s John Kruzel reported.

This has been interpreted as a position of weakness, and Chuck Schumer pounced on the news.

As reported by Fox News’ Chad Pergram:

“We’re glad Senator McConnell threw in the towel and gave up on his ridiculous demand. We look forward to organizing the Senate under Democratic control and start getting big, bold things done for the American people,” Schumer’s spokesperson said in a statement.

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However, it appears that Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has no inclination whatsoever to signing onto a rules change that would bring in a “nuclear option” for all Senate legislation and motions.

“I do not support doing away with the filibuster under any condition,” Manchin reportedly weighed in.

The agreement will allow the Senate to organize into committees and proceed with the business of the chamber. The Senate is preparing for an impeachment conviction trial for former President Donald Trump, slated to begin the week of February 8th. Chief Justice John Roberts has reportedly recused himself from presiding over the trial. His position will be taken by Sen. Pat Leahy, a long-tenured Democrat from Vermont who is the Senate pro tempore.

“Dems and some in the press can spin all day, but McConnell got what he wanted,” Twitter commentator AG Hamilton noted. “He protected the rights of his caucus and ensured Dems can’t force game-changing legislation through without Republican buy-in.”

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Dems will sooth themselves with this, and Schumer comes out looking stronger for not blinking, but what was revealed here only serves to reinforce the divide that is going to make things really tough,” Liam Donovan pointed out. “The ostensible pursuit was always comically meaningless except as a wedge.”

“Mitch McConnell gummed up the Senate for three weeks, made Chuck Schumer look weak and got the left mad at him, and coaxed (coerced?) Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema into affirming their support for the filibuster, riling the base more. Yeah, good strategy,” Varad Mehta added.

All of this, of course, hinges on how true to their word senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin are. Republicans and Trump supporters are rightfully shell-shocked, but the GOP may not have a whole lot of options except to ensure that they can strongly object to Democrat legislation that requires a two-thirds majority to pass.