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IJR

McConnell Dismisses Calls for Filibuster Reform: 'It’s Not Broken'

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) sees no reason to reform the filibuster or to eliminate it. 

He was asked on Tuesday afternoon if he would support a measure to “reform” the filibuster.

“It’s not broken, and it doesn’t need to be fixed,” McConnell responded as he noted Democrats filibustered legislation during former President Donald Trump’s tenure.

He continued, “I didn’t react to that by saying, ‘Okay, we’ll change the rules of the Senate to get our way. It’s not broken, and it doesn’t need to be fixed. This is a solution in search of a problem. It is not a problem that the Senate stops bad ideas or negotiates bipartisan solutions.”

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The Senate’s website defines the filibuster as “a loosely defined term for action designed to prolong debate and delay or prevent a vote on a bill, resolution, amendment, or other debatable question.”

Under current Senate rules, that means that most legislation would require 60-votes.

With the chamber equally divided, Democrats would need to win over at least 10 Republicans in order to pass legislation.

That has led some to call for the filibuster to be eliminated, which would allow Democrats to pass legislation with just 51 votes, as Vice President Kamala Harris can cast the tie-breaking vote.

McConnell warned Democrats on Tuesday that eliminating the filibuster would lead to a “completely scorched earth” Senate and that past effort to hold up legislation would be “child’s play.”

He also claimed that the Republicans would take advantage of the lack of the filibuster to pass conservative policies with “zero input” from Democrats if they regain the majority. 

If they wanted to get rid of the filibuster, Democrats would need every member of their caucus to vote in favor of the move. 

However, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) has said he would not support the push to eliminate the filibuster.

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But he has signaled that he would be open to making changes to it, as IJR reported. He told Fox News’ Chris Wallace, “The filibuster should be painful, it really should be painful, and we’ve made it more comfortable over the years, not intentionally.”

“Maybe it has to be more painful. Maybe you have to stand there. There’s things we can talk about,” he added.

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