Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) indicated that he will begin putting pressure on Senate Democrats who are up for reelection in red states.
In McCarthy’s first week as speaker of the House, he was able to pass a handful of bills that will inevitably put pressure on the vulnerable Senate Democrats, such as West Virginia’s Sen. Joe Manchin, Ohio’s Sen. Sherrod Brown, and Montana’s Sen. Jon Tester, because of the close majority in the upper chamber.
Citing a bill to restrict oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve being sold to China that passed last week with broad bipartisan support — 113 Democrats joined the Republicans — McCarthy said on Fox News’s Sunday Morning Futures last weekend that he would “like to see Manchin and others in the Senate bring that bill up and move that to the President’s desk.”
“We’ve got a number of bills coming up in the future: securing our border, producing more energy, stopping this COVID emergency across America so we can all get back to work,” McCarthy explained.
However, despite how much support a bill gets in the House, much of the legislation being brought up in the Senate mostly depends on what Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wants to vote on. Ultimately, McCarthy hopes the “moderate” Democrats in the Senate “work together” to push Schumer to bring up some of the legislation, such as restricting oil being sold to China.
“It’s overwhelmingly passed in the House. I don’t see why [the Senate] would stop. They’re not even in session. They haven’t produced any bill. So here’s their first bill over there that they can take right up,” McCarthy added. “And as you talk to those Democrats who — Manchin, Sherrod Brown, Tester, and others — who say they’re moderates and that they want to work together…here’s an example that 113 Democrats inside Congress voted for as well.”
In the next election, the Senate Democrats will have to try to keep, if not expand, their 51-seat majority. That would involve potentially spending millions on protecting Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), who has already been fielding potential primary challengers after recently changing her party to independent. In addition to there being open seats due to some members retiring, some Democrat senators will be running in states that have turned redder over the years — such as Manchin.