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American News Mar 17, 2021 12:07 AM EST

Mitch McConnell vows massive disruption, 'scorched earth' to Senate if Democrats eliminate filibuster

The Senate Minority Leader swore it’d be a “hundred car pile-up” of procedural sabotage if Democrats eliminated the filibuster rule.

Mitch McConnell vows massive disruption, 'scorched earth' to Senate if Democrats eliminate filibuster
The Post Millennial The Post Millennial

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The Senate Minority Leader swore it’d be a “hundred car pile-up” of procedural sabotage if Democrats eliminated the filibuster rule.

For context (via CBS) the Democrats need to eliminate the filibuster in order to pass sweeping radical legislation measures. As it stands, Senate approval would require 60 votes (i.e. ten Republicans on board). Without the filibuster, they'd need only a simple majority.

The only thing keeping the filibuster alive is the dissent of Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.

Which leads us back to McConnell's declaration of war. Mitch announced his promise in a Tuesday speech on the house floor.

It was in the speech’s most explosive moments that McConnell brought up the 2020 election. He said any law passed in a filibuster-free Senate would be faithless in the eyes of the American people because they didn’t vote for this radical transformation.

Mitch McConnell then threatened all of his colleagues with the dark future of what a “completely scorched earth Senate” looks like. Every floor speech and even voting to turning on the lights would be met with “quorum,” according to him.

His main point being everything would get harder and not easier to do. McConnell warned that changing this rule would be “the first domino of many.”

Then came the money quote: “Until the Senate ceased to be distinct from the House in any respect, this chaos would not open an express lane to liberal change. It would not open up an express lane for the Biden presidency to speed into the history books. The Senate would be more like a hundred car pile-up. Nothing moving. And then there’s the small matter that majorities are actually never permanent.”

McConnell brings up the fact that the last Democrats tried to do this, he promised they’d regret. He makes sure to mention that in the end, the Democrats said they did. In this case, McConnell vowed to undo every “liberal change that hurt the country” and replace it with “all kinds of conservative policies” to strengthen it again.

McConnell noted that his standards are consistent. Back in a Republican-held trifecta of presidency, house, and senate, he swore to not eliminate the filibuster then, either.

McConnell highlighted a moment in April 2017 with Senator Schumer. At that time he was quoted as saying: "As I’ve said repeatedly: Let us go no further down this road,I hope the Republican leader and I can, in the coming months, find a way to build a firewall around the legislative filibuster, which is the most important distinction between the Senate and the House.

"Without the 60-vote threshold for legislation, the Senate becomes a majoritarian institution like the House, much more subject to the winds of short-term electoral change," Schumer continued. "No senator would like to see that happen, so let’s find a way to further protect the 60-vote rule for legislation."

This being exactly what McConnell is arguing in favor of now.

Mitch McConnell follows up by citing Senator Durbin’s 2018 response on the same issue.

“What about that nuclear option, doing away with the filibuster?” George Stephanopoulos of ABC asked Durbin. He responded: “Well, I can tell you that would be the end of the Senate as it was originally devised and created going back to our Founding Fathers. We have to acknowledge our respect for the minority, and that is what the Senate tries to do in its composition and in its procedure.

McConnell goes on to say how much of a hypocrite Senator Durbin was for trying to change his stance now in 2021.

He notes the filibuster is one of the remaining few ways that the American people maintain hope of bipartisanship. McConnell cites Thomas Jefferson’s denouncement of “slender majorities” when it came to matters of significant legislation.

“People forget that the Senate 60 vote threshold is the only reason. The only reason that any routine must pass legislation is bi-partisan except during divided government, big funding deals, appropriation bills, farm bills, highway bills, the NDA, the Senate, 60 vote threshold backstops, all of it. It's not just about controversial items.”

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