Why McConnell Is Green Lighting a Power-sharing Agreement

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Posted: Jan 25, 2021 9:45 PM
Why McConnell Is Green Lighting a Power-sharing Agreement

Source: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) late Monday night said he is ready to create a power-sharing agreement with Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). An agreement was put on hold over McConnell's concerns that the filibuster – a stalling tactic that requires a 60 person vote to end debate over a piece of legislation – would be eliminated.

Two Democrats – Sens. Joe Manchin (WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) – have publicly said they would not vote in favor of nuking the filibuster.

“I do not support doing away with the filibuster under any condition. It's not who I am," Manchin told reporters previously. 

Earlier in the day, Sinema said she is “against eliminating the filibuster, and she is not open to changing her mind about eliminating the filibuster.”

Knowing that at least two Democrats wanted to protect the coveted filibuster, McConnell said he is now ready to move forward, knowing the tactic will remain in place.

"Today two Democratic Senators publicly confirmed they will not vote to end the legislative filibuster. They agree with President Biden's and my view that no Senate majority should destroy the right of future minorities of both parties to help shape legislation," McConnell said in a statement. 

"The legislative filibuster was a key part of the foundation beneath the Senate's last 50-50 power-sharing agreement in 2001," he explained. "With these assurances, I look forward to moving ahead with a power-sharing agreement modeled on that precedent."

The lack of a power-sharing agreement has stalled work in the Senate, including official Senate committee work.