Democrats’ push to eliminate the filibuster will “steamroll the interests” of Middle America, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Monday.
“A key purpose of the Senate was to ensure all parts of the country have a voice,” the 79-year-old legislator said. “Leaders from New York and California want to break the Senate’s rules on legislation because they want to steamroll the interests of Kentucky and Middle America”:
A key purpose of the Senate was to ensure all parts of the country have a voice.
Leaders from New York and California want to break the Senate’s rules on legislation because they want to steamroll the interests of Kentucky and Middle America.
— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) March 22, 2021
McConnell has continued to rail against the left’s calls to end the filibuster, previewing what he said will be a “scorched-earth Senate.”
“Does anyone really believe the American people were voting for an entirely new system of government by electing Joe Biden to the White House and a 50-50 Senate?” McConnell asked colleagues during a Senate floor speech last week, explaining that “there was no mandate to completely transform America by the American people on November 3.”
“So let me say this very clearly for all 99 of my colleagues: Nobody serving in this chamber can even begin, can even begin, to imagine what a completely scorched-earth Senate would look like,” McConnell warned:
None of us have served one minute in a Senate that was completely drained of comedy and consent. This is an institution that requires united consent to turn the lights on before noon, to proceed with a garden variety floor speech, to dispense with the reading of lengthy legislative text, to schedule committee business to move even noncontroversial nominees at anything besides a snail pace.
“Everything that Democrat Senates did to Presidents Bush and Trump, everything the Republican Senate did to President Obama would be child’s play compared to the disaster that Democrats would create for their own priorities if, if they break the Senate,” he cautioned.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) is among Democrat leaders pressing to end the filibuster, contending it is “still making a mockery of American democracy.”
“The filibuster is still being misused by some senators to block legislation urgently needed and supported by a strong majority of the American people,” Durbin said.
“This is what hitting legislative rock bottom looks like,” he continued. “Today’s filibusters have turned the world’s most deliberative body into one of the world’s most ineffectual bodies.”
Last week, President Biden revealed he remains “open to hearing ideas” about eliminating the Senate filibuster despite defending it as a senator, once describing it as a tool of “compromise and moderation.”