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Mitch McConnell: Id prefer to leave the filibuster intact for Democrats next year...(Abridged)
Hot Air ^ | May 22, 2014 | BY ALLAHPUNDIT

Posted on 05/26/2014 10:27:48 AM PDT by Bratch

...if we take back the Senate


Before you shake your fist, consider the strategy at work here.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Thursday that if he were to emerge as majority leader following this fall’s elections, he’d prefer to keep in place the minority party’s ability to filibuster legislation…

While he said he thought Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had done a “lot of damage” by using parliamentary procedure to enable some judicial and executive nominees to move through the chamber with 50 votes, he suggested that he had no plans to try to undo that change. He even left the door open to further changing the rules so they would apply to more nominees…

But in stopping short of endorsing filibuster reform for actual legislation, McConnell laid down a marker for how he would run the chamber that could end up upsetting his own members. Should, for example, Republicans emerge from November with a slim Senate majority, there will be a number of legislative items — including, potentially, the repeal of Obamacare — on which he will need 60 votes to end debate.

So he’s planning to maintain Harry Reid’s status quo, in which 51 votes would be needed for cloture on presidential appointments (except to the Supreme Court) but 60 would remain the threshold for actual legislation. Why would he do that? Why not get rid of the filibuster for Senate bills too so that the GOP majority can pass whatever it wants? Two obvious reasons. One: Obama’s going to veto whatever comes out of a Republican Congress so the GOP gains nothing by nuking the rest of the filibuster. Two, more importantly: It’s verylikely that Democrats will be regain their Senate majority in 2017 and also quite possible that there’ll be a new Democratic president in office. That would leave just two obstacles to Democrats passing any law they want — the House, which will probably but not definitely still be in GOP hands in three years, and the filibuster in the Senate. If McConnell nukes that filibuster for legislation next year, all Reid has to do when he’s back in charge is say that he’s going to follow Republican precedent. The GOP minority will be completely locked out in the upper chamber with no grounds to complain. McConnell’s playing a long game in refusing to hand that opening to Reid. Better to let Democrats filibuster GOP bills that’ll end up dying on Obama’s desk anyway than to create a Republican buy-in to the Dems’ anti-filibuster agenda.

In fact, keeping the filibuster around may be useful to conservatives too. If you think Mitch the Knife’s going to push an exclusively right-wing agenda as majority leader, think again:

As majority leader, McConnell would command significant authority in setting the agenda. But in a speech in January he indicated that he would aim to focus on areas of consensus, not solely conservative priorities — like repeated votes to repeal Obamacare…

A fully Republican Congress would have an obligation to the party’s would-be 2016 presidential hopeful to avoid extreme positions that would damage GOP presidential chances, analysts say. At the same time, Republicans would bear full responsibility for an institution that is highly unpopular with the public and has been notoriously unproductive in recent years.

“In order to elect a president in 2016, we’re going to have to show in 2015 and ’16 that the American people can trust Republicans with the government,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). “That means that we’ll have to come up with changes that go in a conservative direction, but changes that command support of independent voters as well as our conservative base.”

Tax reform is one example of an initiative that might end up a bit more moderate than conservatives would prefer. Amnesty, of course, is another. It’s unlikely that McConnell would try to pass something that no less than 41 members of his own caucus oppose, but given how much righties seem to distrust him, you’d like the option to filibuster a terrible bill that ends up on the floor with McConnell’s blessing, no? Keeping the current rule intact gives you that option.

One thing I don’t get, though: Why not bring the filibuster back for presidential appointments too? If, in all likelihood, the GOP’s going to be back in the minority in a few years, it’s worth moving to undo Reid’s precedent on appointments as quickly as possible. He might just reverse the rule again, of course, by re-nuking it in 2017 if the GOP brings it back next year, but at least force him to make that move. By acquiescing in what he did, you’ve agreed to move the Overton window on nominations. Having the filibuster intact next year for nominees could benefit conservatives too. It’s quite possible that Obama will nominate someone dubious whom most, but not quite all, Republicans oppose. If the GOP ends up with a slim 51/49 majority, it would take just two Republicans to flip for that nominee to be confirmed — unless the old filibuster rules are reinstated, in which case it would take 11. Why wouldn't McConnell want to add that extra insurance?

Exit question: If the doomsday scenario comes to pass and Democrats end up controlling the White House and both houses of Congress in 2017, what’s the likelihood that Reid will go ahead and nuke the filibuster on legislation regardless of what McConnell does next year? One hundred percent, right?


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2016; filibuster; mcconnell
Full title:

Mitch McConnell: I’d prefer to leave the filibuster intact for Democrats next year if we take back the Senate

Not as bad as the other article.

Quite frankly, as long as Barack Obama is President, the filibuster rules are meaningless to a Republican majority.

1 posted on 05/26/2014 10:27:48 AM PDT by Bratch
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To: Bratch

Ditch Mitch.


2 posted on 05/26/2014 10:32:35 AM PDT by Paladin2
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To: Bratch

“But in a speech in January he indicated that he would aim to focus on areas of consensus”

Also known as across the aisle bending over.....


3 posted on 05/26/2014 10:34:34 AM PDT by Reddy (bo stinks)
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To: Paladin2

Did he also say he would POWER SHARE with Harry /


4 posted on 05/26/2014 10:36:14 AM PDT by molson209 (Blank)
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To: Bratch
Quite frankly, as long as the republican leadership is supporting the liberal agenda with procedural votes, a republican majority is meaningless.

The liberal republican party must be destroyed.

/johnny

5 posted on 05/26/2014 10:39:44 AM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Bratch

Like any doormat, Mitch McConnell’s olive branch will be gladly accepted, and then it will be used to whip his fat turtle face until he cries and offers to do Harry Reid’s homework for him all semester long.


6 posted on 05/26/2014 10:40:32 AM PDT by LostInBayport (When there are more people riding in the cart than there are pulling it, the cart stops moving...)
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To: molson209

If the ,Rats are going to regain the Senate in ,16, why does he need to be re,elected in ,14?


7 posted on 05/26/2014 10:41:12 AM PDT by Paladin2
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To: Bratch


8 posted on 05/26/2014 10:42:18 AM PDT by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
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To: Bratch

Does anyone really think that Harry Reid is not going to change the filibuster rules back to the super majority rule in the lame duck session, if and when he loose the speaker-ship?


9 posted on 05/26/2014 10:43:52 AM PDT by Falcon4.0
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To: Bratch

Mitch is assuming an awful lot here: 1) He will be re-elected; and, 2) the Republicans will take the Senate.

Right now, I don’t see either happening.


10 posted on 05/26/2014 10:46:29 AM PDT by Arm_Bears (Shoot cops that shoot dogs.)
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To: Bratch

Is he counting his chickens before they hatch?

Dumb cluck!


11 posted on 05/26/2014 10:47:13 AM PDT by shalom aleichem
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To: Bratch
uhhhh...if the Dems lose the US Senate, won't Reid bring back the old rules during the lame duck session? If I were a dem in the US Senate, that's what I'd do.

And the 'pubs will love it. They'll have cover for not passing constitutional conservative issues.

12 posted on 05/26/2014 10:47:24 AM PDT by grania
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To: molson209

Remember when Boehner pledged that all bills would come to the floor for a vote? He lied.

Mitch is lying. If he becomes Majority leader he will not give the Dems an even break. Count on it.


13 posted on 05/26/2014 10:49:11 AM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose o f a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: Georgia Girl 2
Mitch may very well lose in the general election.

/johnny

14 posted on 05/26/2014 10:51:40 AM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Yes and I think Mitch is saying whatever he can think of to get a few Democratic votes in the general election.


15 posted on 05/26/2014 10:54:00 AM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose o f a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: Paladin2

Hairy and Mitch, two fools.


16 posted on 05/26/2014 10:54:45 AM PDT by ExTexasRedhead
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To: Bratch

It really does not matter what Mitch says.
He will be applying for a job at Trent Lott’s Lobbying Firm after the
general election.

He has pissed off every conservative in KY.
The Bushites in KY will show up in full force at the polls.

However, don’t expect KY conservatives to crawl over glass to send
McConnell back to congress. Even the help of McConnell’s
Mini-Me, Rand Paul, won’t be enough to get enough conservatives
to the polls.

As McConnell remains behind in the coming polls, look for the GOPe’s
in DC to force McConnell to announce he will not seek re-election to
his leaderless post as a final desperate attempt to save that GOP seat.

Will it work? That depends on what KY conservatives decide to do.


17 posted on 05/26/2014 10:56:11 AM PDT by tennmountainman (Just Say No To Obamacare)
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To: Georgia Girl 2
He'll need those liberal democrat votes, because after he vowed to crush conservatives, they may well not vote for him.

I know I won't be voting for Cornyn in the general election. His key cloture vote that allowed Reid to remove the debt limit proved that he won't govern conservatively.

/johnny

18 posted on 05/26/2014 10:56:41 AM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Paladin2

In addition, I’m sure he’d like to “reach out” to the democrats in order to give them an equal representation on committees and as chairmen, just like his mentor Trent Lott did. If the Senate goes to the GOP, watch for the demands from Reid’s mob, just like Daschle orchestrated, and look for Mitch to cave.


19 posted on 05/26/2014 10:56:47 AM PDT by DPMD
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To: DPMD

Mitch doesn’t have to cave. He agrees with the Democrats.


20 posted on 05/26/2014 11:03:45 AM PDT by sheana
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To: sheana

LOL. So true.


21 posted on 05/26/2014 11:06:56 AM PDT by tennmountainman (Just Say No To Obamacare)
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To: Bratch

21 posts, but still in before the “Shame on you! Do you want Democrats to win?” sado-masochists.


22 posted on 05/26/2014 11:30:58 AM PDT by tumblindice (America's founding fathers: all armed conservatives)
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To: Bratch
“In order to elect a president in 2016, we’re going to have to show in 2015 and ’16 that the American people can trust Republicans with the government,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). “That means that we’ll have to come up with changes that go in a conservative direction, but changes that command support of independent voters as well as our conservative base.”

Anything the uber CINO Alexander supports is by default extremely suspect.

23 posted on 05/26/2014 11:35:17 AM PDT by SharpRightTurn (White, black, and red all over--America's affirmative action, metrosexual president.)
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To: SharpRightTurn

Funny.

Alexander’s statement is as mushy as he his.

Joe Carr for Senate. I will be voting for him his August.


24 posted on 05/26/2014 12:27:57 PM PDT by tennmountainman (Just Say No To Obamacare)
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To: Bratch

BOHICA. KY voters are stoopid.


25 posted on 05/26/2014 12:30:14 PM PDT by VRWC For Truth (Roberts has perverted the Constitution)
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To: Bratch

You do that Mitch, but lets see if you do it when a conservative R is Pres.


26 posted on 05/26/2014 1:01:59 PM PDT by Red Steel
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To: SharpRightTurn
“That means that we’ll have to come up with changes that go in a conservative direction, but changes that command support of independent voters as well as our conservative base.”
Ah, the illusive "independent voter".

I'll be Lamar's buddies had fun taking him snipe hunting when they were growing up.

27 posted on 05/26/2014 1:37:58 PM PDT by Bratch
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To: tumblindice

McConnell staffers don’t work holidays.
Today is Memorial Day.


28 posted on 05/26/2014 1:46:40 PM PDT by tennmountainman (Just Say No To Obamacare)
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