McConnell, Schumer spar over power-sharing as disagreement over filibuster hamstrings talks

McConnell, Schumer spar over power-sharing as disagreement over filibuster hamstrings talks

Talks
between

Senate
GOP
Leader

Mitch
McConnell
and
Senate
Democratic
Leader

Chuck
Schumer
are
stalled
over a
power-sharing
agreement
on how
the
Senate
will
run
with
50
senators
in
each
caucus
but
Vice
President
Harris
giving
Democrats
a
slight
edge. 

Such
an
agreement
is
not
unprecedented.
There
was
a
50-50
Senate
at
the
beginning
of
the
George
W.
Bush
administration,
and
the
two
parties put
together
a
deal,
which
McConnell,
R-Ky.,
and
Schumer,
D-N.Y.,
are
using
as
a
template
for
their
current
talks. 

The
deal
would
govern
the
number
of
senators
from
each
party
on
committees,
likely
would
allow
bills
to
get
to
the
Senate
floor
even
on
evenly-split
votes
in
committee
and
may
even
give
McConnell
some
rights
on
the
Senate
floor
that
he
wouldn’t
otherwise
have
if
Democrats
had
51
senators. 

But
the
hangup,
apparent
in
public
comments
from
the
two
senators,
is
a
request
from
McConnell
for
assurances
that
Democrats
will
not
get
rid
of
the
legislative
filibuster

the
requirement
that
bills
clear
a
60-vote
procedural
hurdle
before
a
final
up-or-down
vote

during
the
upcoming
Congress. 

Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., stands with Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., as a joint session of the House and Senate convenes to confirm the Electoral College votes cast in November's election, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP)

Charles
Schumer,
D-N.Y.,
stands
with
Mitch
McConnell,
R-Ky.,
as
a
joint
session
of
the
House
and
Senate
convenes
to
confirm
the
Electoral
College
votes
cast
in
November’s
election,
at
the
Capitol
in
Washington,
Wednesday,
Jan.
6,
2021.
(Kevin
Dietsch/Pool
via
AP)


DEMOCRATS
SPLIT
ON
IMPEACHMENT
TRIAL
TIMING,
AS
WHITE
HOUSE
SAYS
SENATE
SHOULD
‘MULTITASK’

“I’ve
been
heartened
to
hear
my
colleague
say
he
wants
the
same
rules
from
the
2000s
to
apply
today.
Because
certainly
20
years
ago
there
was
no
talk
of
tearing
down
long-standing
minority
rights
on
legislation,”
McConnell
said
in
floor
remarks
Thursday.
“The
legislative
filibuster
is
a
crucial
part
of
the
Senate.
Leading
Democrats
like
President
Biden
himself
have
long
defended
it.”

McConnell
then
accused
Democrats
of
“liberally”
using
the
filibuster
to
block
GOP
legislation
during
the
past
six
years
that
Republicans
controlled
the
Senate.
Democrats
did
this
on
notable
occasions
in
2020
when
Republicans
brought
up
police
reform
legislation
and
coronavirus
relief
bills
that
Democrats
did
not
think
were
ambitious
enough.

The
consequence
of
the
snag is
that
the
Senate
will
not
be
able
to
fully
ramp
up
and
handle
its
normal
business,
leaving
the
body
in
an
awkward
state
of
limbo
as
it
begins
working
through
Biden’s
Cabinet
nominations. 

McConnell’s
floor
remarks
followed
a
comment
from
a
McConnell
spokesman
on
Tuesday
that
during
a
meeting
with
Schumer,
the
GOP
leader
“expressed
his
long-held
view
that
the
crucial,
longstanding,
and
bipartisan
Senate
rules
concerning
the
legislative
filibuster
remain
intact.” 

But
Schumer
has
called
McConnell’s
request
“extraneous”
and
said
Democrats
won’t
go
for
it. 

US President Joe Biden prepares to sign a series of orders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, after being sworn in at the US Capitol on January 20, 2021. The party leaders in the Senate are struggling to come to a power-sharing agreement, something that could handicap its ability to handle Biden's agenda if not handled quickly. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

US
President
Joe
Biden
prepares
to
sign
a
series
of
orders
in
the
Oval
Office
of
the
White
House
in
Washington,
DC,
after
being
sworn
in
at
the
US
Capitol
on
January
20,
2021.
The
party
leaders
in
the
Senate
are
struggling
to
come
to
a
power-sharing
agreement,
something
that
could
handicap
its
ability
to
handle
Biden’s
agenda
if
not
handled
quickly.
(Photo
by
Jim
WATSON
/
AFP)
(Photo
by
JIM
WATSON/AFP
via
Getty
Images)

BIDEN
SWORN
IN
AS
46TH
PRESIDENT,
SAYS
‘DEMOCRACY
HAS
PREVAILED’
IN
INAUGURAL
ADDRESS

“We
believe,
our
caucus
believes,
that
the
fairest,
easiest
and
most
bipartisan
way
to
come
to
an
organizing
resolution
is
to
enact
the
2001
agreement
that
Sens.
Lott
and
Daschle
came
to
in
bipartisan
way
back
then,”
he
said
on
Thursday.
“We, our
caucus
is
strongly
opposed
to
any extraneous provisions. And
so
we’re
going
to
keep
working
to
try
and
get
a
bipartisan
deal.”

Many
Senate
Democrats
have
expressed
a
desire
to
get
rid
of
the
legislative
filibuster,
which
can
be
done
by
a
mere
50-plus-one
majority
if
the
Senate
decides
it
wants
to
do
that.
That
is
what
Democrats
did
for
lower-court
nominations
during
former
President
Obama’s
time
in
office
and
what
Republicans
did
for
Supreme
Court
nominations
during
President
Trump’s
term. 

But
Republicans
and
even
some
Democrats

specifically
Sen.
Joe
Manchin,
D-W.V.

have
said
they
hope
to
keep
the
legislative
filibuster
intact,
citing
a
desire
to
preserve
the
tradition
that
forces
the
two
sides
to
compromise
to
get
anything
done. 

Schumer
said
that
“everything”
would
be
“on
the
table”
if
Republicans
confirmed
Supreme
Court
Justice
Amy
Coney
Barrett
before
the
presidential
election

which
they
did

but
he
has
not
explicitly
said
he
wants
to
get
rid
of
the
filibuster.
For
the
moment,
however,
he
appears
to
be
invested
in
keeping
the
option
open,
even
if
it
would
be
difficult
to
convince
a
reluctant
Manchin
and
perhaps
other
Democrat
senators
vote
to
end
the
filibuster
if
he
decided
to
go
that
way. 


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Meanwhile,
Biden’s
legislative
agenda
still
looms,
as
does
an
upcoming
impeachment
trial
for
Trump

something
else
that
McConnell
and
Schumer
will
have
to
come
to
an
agreement
on
how
to
run.
Biden
has
asked
the
Senate
to
attempt
to
try
to
dual-track
the
impeachment
trial
and
his
nominees. 

But
Sen.
John
Cornyn,
R-Texas,
a
close
McConnell
ally, appeared
to
throw
cold
water
on
the
suggestion
the
Senate
would
be
able
to
handle
business
other
than
impeachment
once
the
House
sends
the
article
of
impeachment
against
Trump. 

White
House
Press
Secretary
Jen
Psaki,
according
to
a
tweet
by
a
CNN
reporter,
said
“we
are
confident
the
Senate
can
multi
task,”
regarding
the
impeachment
trial. 

“Nope,”
Cornyn
responded.

Tyler
Olson
covers
politics
for
FoxNews.com.
You
can
contact
him
at
tyler.olson@foxnews.com
and
follow
him
on
Twitter
at
@TylerOlson1791.

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