Mitch McConnell has warned Democrats not to change any of the Senate’s rules if they win in November. He’s particularly concerned about maintaining the filibuster.
The Senate Majority Leader made the remarks on the Senate floor on Thursday as it has become more and more likely Republicans will be swept from office this year.
McConnell claimed that progressive Democrats wanted major reforms of the system, including changing the Supreme Court and making Washington, D.C. a state.
“And to accomplish all this, destroying the Senate’s distinguishing feature that makes radical change hard by design,” McConnell said.
“We have an entire political movement that is telling us literally out loud that they’ve lost patience with playing by the rules and may well declare war on the rule book.”
The Kentucky Republican went on to claim that Democrats must not “vandalize the rules to pass legislation with a simple majority.”
McConnell is clearly referring to the filibuster – a procedure that has been much abused over the past decade. If a Democratic majority were to reform the filibuster, they could prevent a Republican minority from blocking legislation.
The Republican-controlled Senate has become a graveyard for legislation, thanks in large part to McConnell, who has used the body’s sometimes arcane rules to partisan advantage.
However, recent polling suggests the GOP won’t be able to hold on to the Senate in November as President Donald Trump’s unpopularity trickles down to the rest of his party.
Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media