Dems blast McConnell for threatening to filibuster power-sharing agreement – so GOP can block all Democratic votes

Dems blast McConnell for threatening to filibuster power-sharing agreement – so GOP can block all Democratic votes
Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C., Gage Skidmore
Democrats urged to reject 'desperate' McConnell effort to preserve filibuster and kneecap Biden agenda

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is entering his new, less powerful role the same way he managed the Senate when he was Majority Leader, with one purpose in mind: block everything Democrats want.

Democratic Senators on Thursday blasted McConnell publicly after he threatened to filibuster the organizing agreement, which specifies how many Senators from each party sit on committees and who chairs them.

CNN's Manu Raju notes if there is no power-sharing agreement, "the Senate will operate under the rules of the last Congress when the GOP controlled Senate majority and held committee chairs."

At the center of McConnell's obstruction: he's demanding Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) commit to keeping the filibuster – which would allow Republicans to block and jettison everything Democrats want. That means Republicans could block all of President Joe Biden's Cabinet nominees, and all legislation Democrats want to pass, as Bloomberg's Steven Dennis reports:

McConnell on Senate floor both makes clear Republicans are prepared to block a lot of Biden's agenda while simultaneously insisting Schumer commit to preserving the filibuster rule, which enables them to do just that.
— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) January 21, 2021

Under the false cloak of "unity," McConnell is making "unprecedented, wacky, counterproductive" demands, according to at least one Democratic Senator, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI), the Chief Deputy Whip.

McConnell is threatening to filibuster the Organizing Resolution which allows Democrats to assume the committee Chair positions. It's an absolutely unprecedented, wacky, counterproductive request. We won the Senate. We get the gavels.
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) January 21, 2021

In fact, McConnell claims Democrats should commit to handing Republicans full power to toally obstruct, under the guise of "unity."

"If the talk of unity and common ground is to have meaning..." - McConnell on his demand that Democrats commit to preserving the filibuster rule.
— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) January 21, 2021

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) slammed McConnell's hypocrisy:

So after Mitch McConnell changed the Senate rules at a blistering pace during his 6 years in charge, he is threatening to filibuster the Senate's organizing resolution unless the Democratic majority agrees to never change the rules again.
Huh.
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) January 21, 2021

Mother Jones's Ari Berman, one of the nation's top voting rights experts:

The last person who should be lecturing Democrats on democratic norms is Mitch McConnell, who blocked Merrick Garland for 237 days before election but confirmed Amy Coney Barrett 8 days before election when 65 million people had already voted
— Ari Berman (@AriBerman) January 21, 2021

New York Times' contributing opinion writer, attorney, and playwright Wajahat Ali suggests Democrats adopt more of a scorched earth strategy:

Mcconnell is owed nothing. He said his proudest accomplishment was to obstruct Obama. He hoped to make him a one term President. Investigate the violent insurrection and reveal the info to the public. Itll be immensely damaging to the GOP. Also kill the filibuster. https://t.co/UHmgpP207N
— Wajahat "Notoriously Brown" Ali (@WajahatAli) January 21, 2021

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.