Top Senate Republican Threatens Democrats With “Scorched Earth” Response

( Democrats have been toying and tinkering with the possibility of doing away with the Senate filibuster.
While they were able to pass President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion economic stimulus plan without any Republican support, they know they won’t be able to do that with all their policies. That’s because they used budget reconciliation to pass the stimulus plan, and that technicality can’t be used for many other policy initiatives.
This means that they must get the support of at least 10 Republicans in the Senate’s current arrangement if they want to pass legislation. If not, they can wave goodbye to their progressive bills on immigration, gun control and minimum wage hikes.
Knowing that they probably will have trouble passing anything else that’s too progressive, some of the top Democrats in the Senate have amped up talk about eliminating the filibuster. That procedural matter means at least 60 Senators must support a bill for it to pass.
It’s a procedure that was put into place to force parties to negotiate and talk with the other side of the aisle, no matter which party was controlling the upper chamber.
The filibuster was never a problem for Democrats when the Republicans held the majority. Now that Democrats have the technical edge on the 50-50 split, their tune is all of a sudden changing.
If they do decide to go down that route to eliminate the filibuster, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said it would not be good news. On the Senate floor this week, he said:
“This chaos would not open up an express lane to liberal change. It would not open up an express lane for the Biden presidency to speed into the history books. The Senate would be more like a 100-car pileup. Nothing moving.
“Nobody serving in this chamber can even begin … to imagine what a completely scorched-earth Senate would look like.”
If Democrats were to move to eliminate the filibuster, McConnell said Republicans would respond by requiring votes on every parliamentary move. That would drastically slow the business that Democrats wanted to push through the Senate — and annoy them in the process.
It’s not a foregone conclusion that the filibuster would be eliminated even if Democratic leaders in the Senate push to do it. That’s because Senators Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema — often considered moderate among their party — have opposed eliminating the filibuster.
McConnell, though, said the Democratic Party was putting intense pressure on both of those senators to try to change their mind. But Manchin said publicly recently that he wouldn’t support it. He said:
“The bottom line is, you can’t get rid of the filibuster.”
McConnell’s final warning to Democrats was that if they were to end the filibuster, they’d be in for a world of hurt in 2022 if Republicans were to take back control of the upper Chamber. That means an agenda led by border security, gun ownership, abortion rights, energy and labor would all come to the table.
He promised:
“We wouldn’t just erase every liberal change that hurt the country. We’d strengthen America with all kinds of conservative policies with zero — zero — input from the other side.”