Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is accusing Democrats of stirring up fake “hysteria” over the Senate filibuster.
In a floor speech on Tuesday, McConnell said, “Our Democrat colleagues briefly paused their quest to destroy the Senate’s 60-vote threshold just long enough to use the 60-vote threshold themselves to block a bill.”
His comments refer to a vote last week where Democrats used the 60-vote threshold to block a bill that would have imposed sanctions on Russia for its Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
The 55 senators voted for the bill, but it failed to advance as not enough Democrats voted for it to provide the required 60 votes.
“Many of these same colleagues have spent weeks thundering, literally thundering, that the Senate’s 60-vote threshold is an offensive tool of obstruction, a Jim Crow relic, declaring that simple majorities should always get their way,” McConnell continued.
He added, “Late last week, they literally wielded the 60-vote threshold themselves. A useful reminder of just how fake — fake — the hysteria has been. We already knew Washington Democrats don’t have any principled opposition to Senate rules. Democrats repeatedly filibustered the CARES Act in March of 2020 while insisting on changes. Democrats filibustered and killed Sen. Tim Scott’s police reform bill.”
Watch the video below:
.@LeaderMcConnell on Senate Democrats: "Late last week they literally wielded the 60-vote threshold themselves. A useful reminder of just how fake — fake — the hysteria has been." pic.twitter.com/j92eS26Wlu
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 18, 2022
McConnell’s comments come as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is expected to hold a vote to make changes to the filibuster, which requires 60-votes to overcome and advance legislation, as Democrats hope to pass voting rights legislation.
“If the Republicans block cloture on the legislation before us, I will put forward a proposal to change the rules to allow for a talking filibuster on this legislation, as recommended by a number of colleagues,” Schumer told reporters on Tuesday.
“I believe that the threat to our democracy is so grave that we must find a way to pass these voting rights bills, debate them, vote, let the majority prevail,” he said, adding, “And if that bare minimum is blocked, we have no option but to change the Senate rules including getting rid of the filibuster for this.”
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