Here’s a line you can expect to hear in almost every ad for a Democratic candidate for Senate between now and Nov. 8, 2022, courtesy of Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.: “One hundred percent of my focus is on stopping this new administration.”
McConnell is usually pretty careful about what he says in public. Instead, McConnell gave a perfect soundbite that confirmed what everyone had already assumed:
Republicans in the Senate under McConnell’s leadership have already decided, much as they did under President Barack Obama, to stonewall anything the president wants to pass.
McConnell tried to walk his comment back Thursday, telling a reporter, “My view at the moment is we need to turn this administration into a moderate administration.”
Biden’s agenda is considered by most to be moderate….no green new deal type stuff….it’s just not moderate in the way republicans want to define it as extreme, dangerous, etc.
In the short term he’s handed the Biden administration and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., all the excuses they need to sidestep the Republicans in negotiations over future priorities. Why bother wasting time negotiating with Republicans when there’s tape of McConnell saying all of his focus is on blocking everything Biden brings to the table?
Democratic members of Congress seized on the remarks as evidence that bipartisanship was not possible and stressed the necessity of ending the filibuster, a rule that requires a 60-vote super-majority to pass legislation in the 100-person Senate.
“The Constitution doesn’t say anything about it taking a super-majority of 60 senators to pass a bill,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren said in a tweet. “It’s time to get rid of the filibuster so Mitch McConnell doesn’t get a veto over the will of the people.”
Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla of California said McConnell is using “the same playbook he’s used for years.”
“Anyone expecting a return to some bygone era of bipartisanship isn’t acknowledging the reality that we are in. We MUST eliminate the filibuster,” he said in a tweet.
Hopefully McConnell’s statement provides some clarity for Dem. Senator Joe Manchin which is; the republicans aren’t interested in bipartisanship and will use the filibuster as a tool to obstruct not negotiate.