Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has threatened to employ “scorched earth” tactics if Democrats successfully get rid of the filibuster, according to Reuters.
McConnell has sought to protect the filibuster, insisting that eliminating it would amount to a power grab on the part of the Democrats. Democrats, meanwhile, are facing calls from their constituents to eliminate it so they can implement their agenda without necessarily requiring Republican support.
In making his threat, McConnell, the former Senate Majority Leader, could find ways to complicate President Joe Biden‘s ability to deliver on his legislative agenda. Once Biden took office, wanted assurances that there would be no use of the so-called “nuclear option,” which would allow Senate rules to be changed with a simple majority vote.
“It’s unclear if an alternative to protecting the filibuster in writing, like a handshake agreement between Schumer and McConnell or a floor speech by Schumer, could satisfy both sides and get the talks back on track. Democrats are poised to have their first caucus call since taking over the majority on Thursday,” The Hill reported at the time.
Senate Republicans invoked the nuclear option in 2017 to remove an exception imposed by the formerly Democratic Senate to allow majority votes on all matters except for Supreme Court nominations to speed up the confirmation process for Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch.
This is a developing story.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.