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McConnell ends stalemate over filibuster, paving way for power-sharing agreement with Schumer
By Tyler Olson | Fox News January 26, 2021;
Two moderate Democrats Monday backed preserving the legislative filibuster
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday set aside his demand that a provision preserving the legislative filibuster be included in his power-sharing agreement with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer — paving the way for the upper chamber to officially form committees and start tackling major legislative issues on the Biden agenda.
McConnell, R-Ky., decided to relent Monday, he said, after two moderate Democrats doubled-down on their previous stances in support of the legislative filibuster. This almost certainly means that Democrats, many of whom have said they want to get rid of the filibuster, won’t be able to do so for at least the next two years.
The filibuster places a 60-vote procedural hurdle in the way of bills passing through the chamber and is considered a hallmark of the Senate.
“I’ve been very clear with you guys,” Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said in response to reporters hounding him on his filibuster stance Monday. “We’ve got to come together, so I do not support doing away with the filibuster under any condition. It’s not who I am.”
The Washington Post, meanwhile, suggested Monday that Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., would be open to getting rid of the legislative filibuster. A spokesperson for her office pushed back, telling the paper she is “against eliminating the filibuster, and she is not open to changing her mind about eliminating the filibuster.”
MCCONNELL RELENTS IN FILIBUSTER FIGHT, HERE’S WHY
The media attention on the filibuster — because McConnell held up Senate business over the issue — extracted two on-the-record statements from Democrats in favor of the filibuster. This likely will give McConnell leverage in the future if Schumer aims to get rid of it as he and many other Democrats have suggested.
“Today two Democratic Senators publicly confirmed they will not vote to end the legislative filibuster,” McConnell said Monday. “They agree with President Biden’s and my view that no Senate majority should destroy the right of future minorities of both parties to help shape legislation.”
He added: “The legislative filibuster was a key part of the foundation beneath the Senate’s last 50-50 power-sharing agreement in 2001. With these assurances, I look forward to moving ahead with a power-sharing agreement modeled on that precedent.”
Schumer, D-N.Y., who had called McConnell’s filibuster demand “extraneous” and “unacceptable,” claimed his own version of a win.
“We’re glad Senator McConnell threw in the towel and gave up on his ridiculous demand,” a Schumer spokesperson said Monday. “We look forward to organizing the Senate under Democratic control and start getting big, bold things done for the American people.”
Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., arrives for the impeachment trial of President Trump on Capitol Hill January 30, 2020, in Washington, D.C.
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