Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) dismissed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell‘s (R-Ky.) threat to employ “scorched earth” tactics if Democrats successfully get rid of the filibuster.
“We used to call the Senate, when he was in charge, the legislative graveyard,” Schumer told Stephen Colbert during an interview on The Late Show. “The House would send over good bills that had a lot of popular support. He might oppose them, fair enough, but he wouldn’t even put them on the floor for a vote.”
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, he 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.
Asked if McConnell could “grind things to a halt” in an evenly divided chamber, Schumer was firm: “I’m not even going to give this blustery threat credence. We’re going to move forward. Period.”
You can watch the interview below.
— A Late Show (@colbertlateshow) March 19, 2021
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.