Minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. He reiterated his commitment to upholding the Senate legislation on Monday and called for a power-sharing agreement after two Democratic senators also backed the long-standing rule.
The Senate currently splits 50-50 in proportion across the parties, with Vice President Kamala Harris, who is the Senate’s chairman, ensuring the Democrats ’tight control over the chamber as a tie vote to advance President Joe Biden’s legislative priorities.
However, Sens. Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema of West Virginia and Arizona – both Democrats – told NBC News on Monday through their spokesmen that lawmakers oppose getting rid of the 60-vote threshold to pass almost any legislation – a rule known as filibuster.
“Today, two Democratic senators have publicly confirmed that they will not vote to abolish legislation. They agree with President Biden and my view that no Senate majority can violate the right of future minorities on both sides to legislate,” McConnell said in a statement. .
“Legislation was a key part of the foundations of the Senate’s 50-50 power-sharing agreement in 2001. With these assurances, I look forward to moving forward with a power-sharing agreement modeled on such a precedent.”
Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in New York, say the party is unwilling to accept that promise, a concession that could prevent them from accomplishing too much on President Joe Biden’s agenda, such as the third round of incentive checks. , the climate. change and immigration, including for the next two years.
But, all 50 members of the Senate Democrats would need to join forces with the so-called nuclear option in order to change the legislative threshold from 60 to 50 votes. This puts the chamber at a dead end without creating a new majority.
McConnell indicated Monday night that he was withdrawing his demand that such protections be included in the power-sharing agreement. As the democratic leadership of the Senate remains firm, it remains to be seen whether McConnell will continue to block the transfer of control of the chamber’s committees. McConnell said he would like Democrats to promise to stick to the filibuster for handing over the goalkeepers of the huge panels.