I was annoyed at this announcement….
The new Democratic US Senate Leader was agreeing to not getting rid of the very weapon that Republican McConnell had in fact put in his pocket several times….
Then it was pointed out that in fact Schumer would use the Senate reconciliation process, but COULD do as McConnell and Harry Reid had done in the past….
Put the filibuster rule in ‘;his’ pocket if the stakes where high enough….
In that view?
Schumer and Democrats had scored a small victory which would allow Democrats to assume the leadership of the Senate committees, which would allow Democrats to control the American Upper House’s agenda….
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) relinquished his block on the Senate organizing resolution Monday night after demanding that Democrats promise not to abolish the filibuster and dramatically curtail the minority’s power.
While Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) publicly refused to make such a promise, McConnell said that reiterated opposition to abolishing it by Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) was good enough.
McConnell backing down allows Democrats to rightfully take over the effective majority, changing over the committee chairmanships and giving the new members committee assignments.
But it did not draw a line under the filibuster fight, which will almost certainly come to the fore again — even with Manchin and Sinema’s current posture. (Schumer would need every Democratic senator on board to use the nuclear option on the filibuster, this time extending it to all legislation.)
After all, this has happened before — politicians tend to be against abolishing the filibuster until a big party priority is blocked by the minority.
That applies to both Democrats and Republicans. In 2005, then Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) called the filibuster the “last check we have against the abuse of power in Washington.” Then in 2013, in the face of Republican obstruction of former President Barack Obama’s nominees, he detonated the nuclear option, lowering the threshold to a simple majority on all nominees except for the Supreme Court.
McConnell has done the same, decrying Reid’s move as a “power grab” before proceeding to use the nuclear option himself in 2017 and 2019, lowering the vote threshold to circumvent Democrats’ blocking Neil Gorsuch’s path to the bench and two years later speeding up confirmation of district judges.
“Senate rules are sacrosanct and carved in stone until they’re not,”…