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Tipsheet

Dick Durbin: We Can't Prevent Barrett From Being Confirmed But...

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) on Sunday told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos that Democrats are looking at how to change the Senate rules to prevent a future Supreme Court nominee from being nominated – and potentially appointed – during an election year.

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"If Democrats are successful in November and you increase your numbers in the Senate, your colleague, Ed Markey, has suggested that if Republicans confirm Judge Barrett, you should end the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court," Stephanopoulos said. "Is that on the table?"

"Well, I can say that the future of the Senate rules is on the table and I'm part of it. And the reason is this: we have seen under Mitch McConnell the kind of destruction, denigration of the United States Senate," he explained. "George, last year in the Senate, in 2019, we had 22 amendments voted on in the entire year in the United States Senate."

"Mitch McConnell has taken the Senate and turned it into something that's not even close to a deliberative and legislative body. We need to make sure that whatever the procedure is in the future, we get down to business, roll up our sleeves and address the issues that affect this country," Durbin explained. "Sen. McConnell's approach, I think, has been a failure."

Although Democrats, like Durbin, want to change the Senate rules to help them in the future, he admitted that there's no possible way to block Amy Coney Barrett from being confirmed.

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"There are two Republicans who have already spoken out already, Sens. Murkowski and Collins, that said they won't support this procedure before the election," Durbin explained. "If two others decide, in the course of the debate, to stand up and take the same position, then we could have a different timing, perhaps a different outcome."

Durbin said that there's really no way around Barrett's confirmation unless two other Republicans decide the decision should be made after the election.

"We can slow it down, perhaps a matter of hours, days at the most, you can't stop the outcome," he explained. "What we should do now is address this respectfully."

The Senate Majority Whip takes issue with McConnell's stance, saying he changed course from his beliefs in 2016.

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