Mitch McConnell (R-KY) outlined his plan to force tough votes on GOP sponsored bills if Democrats make changes to the current longstanding filibuster rule. Some of those votes include blocking vaccine mandates, prohibit federal grants for “sanctuary cities”, and other subjects intended to be tough to swallow for vulnerable Democrats.
According to The Hill:
McConnell, speaking from the Senate floor, argued that changing the requirement that most legislation needs 60 votes to advance would “silence the voices of millions and millions of Americans” represented by GOP senators.
“We will make their voices heard in this chamber in ways that are more inconvenient for the majority and this White House than what anybody has seen in living memory,” McConnell said.
“What would a post-nuclear Senate look like? I assure you it would not be more efficient or more productive. I personally guarantee it,” he added.
The Senate operates throughout the day on unanimous consent — meaning deals that have buy-in from the entire chamber. But McConnell warned that Republicans would be willing to block those routine agreements, making it more painful for Democrats to accomplish day-to-day steps like setting the schedule or allowing committee meetings.
“Do my colleagues understand how many times per day the Senate needs and get unanimous consent for basic housekeeping? Do they understand how many things would require roll-call votes, how often the minority could demand lengthy debate? Our colleagues who are itching for a procedural nuclear winter have not even begun to contemplate how it would look,” McConnell said.
“If the Democratic leader tries to shut millions of Americans and entire states out of the business of governing, the operations of this body will change. Oh yes, that much is true. But not in a way that rewards the rule-breakers. Not in ways that advantage this president, this majority or their party,” he added.
Democrats would need all 50 members on board to change the rule without any GOP support, something they do not currently have. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Krysten Sinema (D-AZ) have both voiced support for the 60-vote filibuster currently in place. Manchin emphasized his support for the rule Tuesday morning ahead of Biden’s Atlanta speech to endorse the change.