McConnell warns Senate Democrats with 'scorched Earth' amid filibuster removal fight

Senate Democrats are trying to get rid of the filibuster to make passage of their legislation easier in the evenly split chamber.

Updated: March 16, 2021 - 1:33pm

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell sent a warning Tuesday to chamber Democrats about any attempt by them to get rid of the filibuster.

"Let me say this very clearly for all 99 of my colleagues: Nobody serving in this chamber can even begin, can even begin, to imagine what a completely scorched-earth Senate would look like," said McConnell, according to The Hill newspaper.

McConnell made his comments in defense of the filibuster, which effectively requires a 60-vote, two-thirds majority to pass most legislation.

The Kentucky Republican's warning also came a day after Indiana Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin railed against the filibuster, calling it "a mockery of American democracy."

"I want our colleagues to imagine a world where every single task, every one of them, requires a physical quorum," McConnel continued.

McConnell's comment is in reference to the oral filibuster, which is what would remain if Democrats got rid of the legislative filibuster. This would require senators to be present on the floor for debate, voting and the filibuster.

The Senate is evenly split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, with Vice President Kamala Harris having the tie-breaking vote. Democrats control the House and White House, but getting their legislation enacted is difficult with the filibuster and 60-vote majority in place.  

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