A dispute over what form, if any, a filibuster would have as part of Senate rules has halted a power-sharing agreement between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
McConnell reportedly is pushing to keep at least a 60-vote filibuster in any agreement as part of a 50-50 split in Congress’ upper chamber, while liberals have pressed Schumer to get rid of it so they can push their agenda, The Hill reported.
“Leader McConnell expressed his long-held view that the crucial, longstanding, and bipartisan Senate rules concerning the legislative filibuster remain intact, specifically during the power share for the next two years,” McConnell spokesman Doug Andres said.
Andres said discussions on “all aspects” of the arrangement will continue.
The Senate will be split evenly between Democrats and Republicans for the first time since 2001, but with Kamala Harris as vice president and with the constitutional authority to break tie votes, it effectively gives Democrats control.
One of the priorities of some Democrats is to expunge the filibuster, a procedure which allows unlimited debate – and thus prevents passage of a bill – unless a super-majority votes to end it.
However, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has publicly stated he will not vote to abolish it.
A spokesman for Schumer said Tuesday night the New York Democrat and McConnell had a “substantive conversation” and “made progress” on issues like confirming Biden’s Cabinet picks and staging a second impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, The Hill reported.
“On an organizing resolution, Leader Schumer expressed that the fairest, most reasonable and easiest path forward is to adopt the 2001 bipartisan agreement without extraneous changes from either side,” he said.
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