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Mitch McConnell slammed for his own effort to virtually 'overturn the Senate election'

January 22, 2021 in Blogs

By Common Dreams

In an early effort to keep the GOP in a position to cripple President Joe Biden’s agenda, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is threatening to block a must-pass organizing resolution that establishes the rules for the new session and sets committee assignments if Democrats don’t agree to hamstring themselves by promising to leave the 60-vote legislative filibuster in place.

Senate Democrats—who won narrow control of the chamber with a pair of runoff victories in Georgia earlier this month—have thus far refused to accept McConnell’s demand, but the Kentucky Republican’s stonewalling of the organizing resolution is already causing problems for the new Biden administration and delaying legislative work as the pandemic rages and mass layoffs continue nationwide.

“The longer the standoff over the organizing package persists, the weirder the Senate will become,” Politico reported Thursday. “New senators have not been added to committees and the ratios have not changed, leaving the GOP in the majority on some panels. That’s already complicating the ability of the Senate to confirm some of President Joe Biden’s nominees.”

In a floor speech Thursday, McConnell signaled that he does not intend to drop his demand any time soon, calling the legislative filibuster “a crucial part of the Senate.”

Rejecting McConnell’s “extraneous provisions,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is pushing for an organizing resolution that sets the same rules that governed the 50-50 Senate in 2001.

Given that the organizing resolution is itself subject to the filibuster, McConnell is effectively using the archaic 60-vote requirement—which progressives have taken to calling a “Jim Crow relic“—to protect it from future elimination by the new Democratic majority. Scrapping the filibuster would require just 51 votes, meaning Democrats would need the support of their entire Senate caucus and a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris.

“McConnell is threatening to filibuster the organizing resolution which allows Democrats to assume the committee chair positions,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) tweeted Thursday. “It’s an absolutely unprecedented, wacky, counterproductive request. We won the Senate. We get the gavels.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) told CNN Thursday that “Mitch McConnell was fine with getting rid of the filibuster to a United States Supreme Court nominee for a lifetime appointment, but he’s not okay getting rid of the filibuster for unemployment relief for families that are out of …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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