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With Senate filibuster move off the table, McConnell readies power-sharing agreement

Virus Outbreak Congress
Posted at 9:41 PM, Jan 25, 2021

President Joe Biden was dealt arguably the first loss of his presidency on Monday after word that two Democratic senators would oppose eliminating the Senate filibuster.

By keeping the filibuster, many bills will still require 60 votes to call for a vote in the Senate. The filibuster does not apply to bills passed through budget reconciliation. It also was previously eliminated for judicial and cabinet confirmations.

Given news on Monday that Sens. Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema would oppose eliminating the filibuster, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he will work with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in creating a power-sharing agreement. The Senate currently is evenly divided with 50 Republicans and 50 members caucusing with the Democrats. With Vice President Kamala Harris as the president of the Senate, she can cast tiebreakers for the Democrats.

A power-sharing agreement is expected to allow Schumer to name committee chairs, but also would McConnell significant say on what bill move through the Senate.

“Today two Democratic Senators publicly confirmed they will not vote to end the legislative filibuster,” McConnell said in a statement on Monday. “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.

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