Politico

McConnell cautions Democrats on nixing the filibuster


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned Democrats on Tuesday against scrapping the legislative filibuster.

“I think the important thing for our Democratic friends to remember is that you might not be in total control in the future,” the Kentucky Republican said. “Any time you start fiddling around with the rules of the Senate, I think you always need to put yourself in the other fellow’s shoes and just imagine what might happen when the winds shift.”

McConnell added that he has resisted pressure from President Donald Trump to nix the legislative filibuster.

“I consistently said no to the current president on that issue and he’s tweeted about me a number of times,” McConnell quipped.

The warning comes as Democrats are increasingly confident about taking back the Senate and the White House, amid Trump’s sinking poll numbers. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said a Democratic Senate takeover is a “long way” away, but said that eliminating the legislative filibuster would “change the character of the Senate and the Congress forever.”

Some Senate Democrats have signaled that they’re open to getting rid of the Senate’s 60-vote threshold should they take back the Senate and the White House, particularly if the Senate faces a partisan deadlock. Democrats scrapped the 60-vote threshold on most nominees in 2013, while Republicans removed the 60-vote threshold for Supreme Court appointments in 2017. But removing the legislative filibuster would be a drastic change.

“With regard to the changes that have occurred on the executive calendar, really that’s a very recent phenomenon,” McConnell said. “What would be a revolution would be to change the legislative filibuster.”

Andrew Desiderio contributed to this report.

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