Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell (KY) has relented on a key demand that Democrats preserve the filibuster, after two Democratic senators – Joe Manchin (WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) – said they were against tossing out the policy which allows the minority party to block legislation by requiring 60 votes to advance most measures.
McConnell’s refusal to ditch the filibuster had left the power-sharing agreement in a stalemate, as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) had rebuffed the idea of a guarantee, according to Bloomberg.
While both sides claimed victory, McConnell’s position was becoming untenable and risked provoking the Democrats into doing the opposite of what he wanted and eroding the filibuster out of the gate. There’s also potential risk down the line if Republicans engage in maximum obstruction and anger Manchin and Sinema.
So far, on cabinet nominees and on scheduling the impeachment trial, the two sides have managed to avoid a partisan impasse. For instance, Antony Blinken, President Joe Biden’s nominee to be secretary of state, is to be confirmed by the Senate at noon on Tuesday. –Bloomberg
“The legislative filibuster was a key part of the foundation beneath the Senate’s last 50-50 power-sharing agreement in 2001,” wrote McConnell in a statement. “With these assurances, I look forward to moving ahead with a power-sharing agreement modeled on that precedent.”
Schumer’s team wasn’t quite so cordial – saying in a statement: “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.” – READ MORE
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