Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell delivered a scathing speech to Senate Democrats attempting to nix the legislative filibuster saying he would turn the Senate into a “100 car pileup” to block the “most basic aspects” of business in the upper chamber. McConnell’s threats come amid increased chatter between Dems about nixing the filibuster.
Fox News reports:
“So let me say this very clearly for all 99 of my colleagues. Nobody serving in this chamber can even begin to imagine what a completely scorched-earth Senate would look like,” McConnell said. “None of us have served one minute in a Senate that was completely drained of comity and consent. This is an institution that requires unanimous consent to turn the lights on before noon, to proceed with a garden-variety floor speech.”
McConnell added: “I want our colleagues to imagine a world where every single task, every one of them, requires a physical quorum. Which, by the way, the vice president does not count in determining a quorum. This chaos would not open up an express lane for liberal change … The Senate would be more like a 100-car pileup, nothing moving.”
McConnell made similar threats in January while he was negotiating an organizing resolution with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. McConnell was demanding that the agreement include a written commitment to protect the filibuster, but he relented after multiple Democratic senators committed to preserving the 60-vote threshold for bills.
McConnell also quoted Schumer calling the filibuster the “most important distinction between the Senate and the House.” He also warned that “majorities are actually never permanent” and said that Republicans, when they are back in control of the Senate, wouldn’t “just erase every liberal change” but implement a litany of their preferred policies with “zero input for the other side.”
However, Democrats Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema have both made public comments opposing ending the filibuster. Manchin did imply he would be open to making the filibuster “harder” to use politically, possibly supporting reimplementing a standing filibuster. The current filibuster forces the Senate to have 60 votes to end debate on a piece of legislation and only forces the filibustering senators to vote against ending debate.
Later, McConnell also blasted Democrats for attempting to use a “Trojan horse” to sneak millions of dollars for Secretary Buttigieg’s infrastructure bill past Americans and Republicans by claiming it’s part of the reconciliation process.
McConnell predicted, “I think the Trojan horse will be called infrastructure. But inside the trojan horse will be all the tax increases…my suspicion is they [Democrats] will try to jam everything they can into that [reconciliation] bill and call it an infrastructure bill.”
Sen. McConnell: “I think the Trojan horse will be called infrastructure. But inside the Trojan horse will be all the tax increases…my suspicion is they [Democrats] will try to jam everything they can into that [reconciliation] bill, and call it an infrastructure bill.” pic.twitter.com/UodiZnoTHA
— Jason Donner (@jason_donner) March 16, 2021