Tuesday, July 27

Senate Obstruction Reform Would Produce “Nuclear Winter,” Says Mitch McConnell | United States Senate


Mitch McConnell, who was accused of ruining bipartisan cooperation in the Senate when he blocked a Supreme Court election of Barack Obama and later changed the rules to rush three elections for Donald Trump, has said that if Democrats remove obstructionism, “they will convert to the Senate in a kind of nuclear winter ”.

The leader of the republican minority, who himself invoked the “nuclear option” to change the rule for the magistrates of the supreme court. in 2017, I was talking to him Ruthless podcast in an episode posted Tuesday.

With a view to major legislation on voting rights, gun control, infrastructure and more, the Democrats who control the White House and Congress are pushing leaders to reform or repeal the Senate obstructionist rule, whereby a minority only 41 out of 100 senators can block a majority. legislation.

Joe Biden saw his $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package go through earlier this month through budget reconciliation, a narrowly applied process that circumvents the filibuster rule and allows for simple majority approval. He is reportedly considering other important steps along that path, although key priorities, such as voting rights, could not advance through reconciliation.

But Biden has indicated that he may be open to some change in filibuster.

McConnell is not.

“I think if they destroy the essence of the Senate, legislative obstructionism, they will find a Senate that will not work,” said the Kentucky Republican, who made his own nuclear option six years after then-Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid did so. advance appointments to lower courts and nominees to the executive branch, to avoid Republican obstruction.

“Unanimous consent is needed to turn the lights on here,” McConnell said. “And I think they would leave 50 angry senators not interested in cooperating even on the simplest things.”

In 2010, McConnell famous saying his main goal was to ensure that Obama was a one-term president. Under Trump, he resisted calls from the White House to remove obstructionism.

Democrats in the 50-50 Senate, which is controlled by the vote of Vice President Kamala Harris, might well retort to McConnell that Republicans have shown little interest in cooperating on any issue for many years. The Covid relief bill did not attract a single Republican vote.

On Tuesday, immediately after a Colorado supermarket shooting that killed 10 people and a week after shootings at resorts near Atlanta killed eight, the Senate will hold a hearing on “Constitutional and Common Sense Measures to Reduce Violence navy”. The House has passed gun control measures, but without obstructionist reform, such measures seem impossible in the Senate.

Republicans, and some Democrats, including West Virginia conservative Joe Manchin, who has indicated he is open to some form of reform, insist that filibuster protects minority rights.

McConnell said that obstructionist reform “may not be the panacea they anticipate it would be. It could turn the Senate into a kind of nuclear winter, nor the aftermath of the so-called nuclear option is not a sustainable place ”.


www.theguardian.com

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