Mitch McConnell says he will blow up Senate if Democrats change filibuster rules

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) promised on Tuesday to effectively shut down the Senate if Democrats do anything to change filibuster rules, even on a temporary basis, to pass voting “rights” legislation, The Washington Times reports. 

Senate Democrats have discussed in recent days making a “carve-out” of the filibuster to pass two voting bills, which they insist are needed for federal voting rights in future elections.

President Joe Biden has also pushed for the carveout to get the bills passed, even though at least one or two Democrats have said they wouldn’t vote for either rules changes to lower the voting threshold, or for the voting rights bills themselves.

Republicans do not support the voting bills, saying that they federalize elections and make cheating in elections much easier.

What can McConnell do?

If Democrats somehow manage to change the existing filibuster rules, McConnell will move forward to drastically disrupt the Senate in at least two ways.

First, Republicans will withdraw unanimous consent from the Senate, which will dramatically slow down the speed at which business can get done in the chamber. The consent of all 100 senators is needed to get even the smallest thing done in the Senate, and passing a bill could take days or weeks without it.

“Do my colleagues understand how many times per day the Senate needs and get unanimous consent for basic housekeeping,” McConnell said. “Do they understand how many things would require roll-call votes, how often the minority could demand lengthy debate?”

Second, The Hill noted, McConnell has also promised to introduce legislation that Democrats do not want to see passed, but that McConnell says could pass with one or two moderate Democrat votes along with Republicans.

Some of the bills McConnell referenced would shut down illegal immigration and block Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Manchin holds the line

Democrats can’t make any rule changes to the filibuster rule without agreement from all 50 of their members, and they don’t currently have that agreement.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said again on Tuesday that he does not support changing the filibuster rules, even as Democrats continue to pressure him and attempt to negotiate a path forward to get what they want.

Even calling opponents racist has not swayed anyone, and now it seems that Democrats are out of arrows for their next round of attacks.

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