Politico

McConnell agrees to allow Senate power-sharing to move forward


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell backed down from his demand that any Senate power-sharing agreement include protections for the legislative filibuster, after Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema reaffirmed their opposition Monday to scrapping the procedural tool.

“Today, two Democratic Senators publicly confirmed they will not vote to end the legislative filibuster,” McConnell said in a statement. “They agree with President Biden’s and my view that no Senate majority should destroy the right of future minorities of both parties to help shape legislation.”

While Democrats hold the Senate majority, the chamber’s 50-50 split means that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and McConnell need to establish a power sharing agreement, also known as an organizing resolution.

Schumer had refused to make a commitment that would tie Democrats’ hands and many in the caucus were growing angry with McConnell’s resistance.

“We’re glad Senator McConnell threw in the towel and gave up on his ridiculous demand,” said Justin Goodman, a spokesperson for Schumer. “We look forward to organizing the Senate under Democratic control and start getting big, bold things done for the American people.”

Schumer had previously urged McConnell to adopt a resolution similar to the 2001 agreement between Senate leaders Trent Lott and Tom Daschle. But the Kentucky Republican insisted that Democrats needed to provide some reassurance that the 60-vote threshold for most major legislation would remain. The ongoing negotiations have left Senate committee assignments in limbo.

Manchin (D-W.Va.) vowed Monday in an interview with POLITICO that he would not vote to kill the filibuster this Congress. And Sinema (D-Ariz.), through her office, reiterated that she is “not open to changing her mind.”

“The legislative filibuster was a key part of the foundation beneath the Senate’s last 50-50 power-sharing agreement in 2001,” McConnell said. “With these assurances, I look forward to moving ahead with a power-sharing agreement modeled on that precedent.”

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