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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) warned Senate Democrats on Tuesday of what the Republican Party would do if Democrats attempted to go for a power grab by eliminating the legislative filibuster.
McConnell's remarks come as left-wing activists are pressuring Democratic Senators to eliminate the filibuster in an attempt to ram through President Joe Biden's agenda.
"They are arguing for a radically less stable and less consensus-driven system of government,"
McConnell said. "Forget about enduring laws with broad support. Nothing in federal law would ever be settled. Does anyone really believe the American people were voting for an entirely new system of government by electing Joe Biden to the White House and a 50-50 Senate? This is 50-50 Senate. There was no mandate to completely transform America by the American people on November 3."
McConnell also said Democrats were mistaken if they believed that the only thing preventing them from ramming through their agenda in the Senate was the existence of the filibuster.
"So, let me say this very clearly for all 99 of my colleagues: Nobody serving in this chamber can even begin to imagine what a completely scorched-earth Senate would look like,"
McConnell said. "None of us have served one minute in a Senate that was completely drained of comity and consent. This is an institution that requires unanimous consent to turn the lights on before noon."
"I want our colleagues to imagine a world where every single task, every one of them, requires a physical quorum — which by the way, the Vice President does not count in determining a quorum,"
McConnell continued. "Everything that Democratic Senates did to Presidents Bush and Trump... everything the Republican Senate did to President Obama... would be child's play compared to the disaster that Democrats would create for their own priorities if they break the Senate. So this is not a trade-off between trampling etiquette but then getting to quickly transform the country. That's a false choice."
"Even the most basic aspects of our colleagues' agenda, the most mundane tasks of the Biden presidency, would be harder, not easier, for Democrats in a post-nuclear Senate that's 50-50, dead even,"
McConnell continued. "If the Democrats break the rules to kill Rule 22, on a 50-50 basis, then we will use every other rule to make tens of millions of Americans' voices heard. Perhaps the majority would come after the other rules next. Perhaps Rule 22 would just be the first domino of many, until the Senate ceased to be distinct from the House in any respect. 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 hundred-car pile-up. Nothing moving."
McConnell concluded by reminding Democrats that several years ago he warned them that they would regret eliminating the filibuster for judicial nominees and that after former President Donald Trump got to select three Supreme Court justices that many of them did end up regretting it.
"Touching the hot stove again would yield the same result. But even more dramatic,"
McConnell said. "As soon as Republicans wound up back in the saddle, 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."
McConnell listed the following things that Republicans will do the moment they regain control of the federal government:
- Nationwide right-to-work for working Americans.
- Defunding Planned Parenthood and sanctuary cities on day one.
- A whole new era of domestic energy production.
- Sweeping new protections for conscience and the right to life of the unborn.
- Concealed-carry reciprocity in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
- Massive hardening of security on our southern border.