This is an old gag, with Ben Sasse having done the same thing last year with Joe Biden’s 2005 Senate speech in defense of the filibuster.
But it’s a good one. And there’s no shortage of material, given all the hosannas sung by Team Blue to the 60-vote threshold over the years.
The gratuitous photo of Schumer grinning stupidly is a nice touch.
🚨 BREAKING: Chuck Schumer* speaks on the Senate floor in defense of the filibuster.
*Senator Cotton’s speech consisted entirely of Senator Schumer’s past statements. pic.twitter.com/zGfbpr7G5t
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) January 12, 2022
What happens if Democrats actually do go nuclear? It’s conceivable, if unlikely, that Manchin and Sinema will change their minds on the filibuster. What’s the GOP’s next move if it happens?
First, they’re going to make it hurt. That means not just obstructing Senate business for the sake of obstructing but forcing votes on Republican bills which they suspect Manchin and Sinema would support. They’ll try to drive a wedge within the Democratic caucus by honing in on issues that would pit the centrists, especially the ones who are up for reelection this fall, against the liberals.
Republicans are also looking at smaller bills such as a proposal to prohibit the administration from imposing a fracking ban by executive order, a prohibition on the IRS implementing new reporting on banks to disclose individuals’ banking activity and mandatory detention for illegal immigrants who commit serious crimes…
Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) said Republicans have a list of bills that Schumer would not be keen on considering that could pass the chamber with the support of the entire GOP conference and one or two moderate Democrats such as Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) or Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.)…
The No. 2 Senate Republican said if Democrats effectively lower the threshold on the procedural motion to begin debate on a bill to 50 votes, it would allow Republicans to bring legislation such as a bill to authorize construction of the Keystone XL pipeline to the floor for a vote.
How do you think a headline like “BILL TO REVIVE KEYSTONE PIPELINE PASSES SCHUMER-LED DEMOCRATIC SENATE” would sit with progressives? How would Mark Kelly, Maggie Hassan, and Raphael Warnock, all on the ballot in November in purple states, feel about having to vote on it?
The other Republican strategy for blowing up a filibuster-less Democratic Senate is to turn it into a Republican Senate later this year. The GOP is playing defense in most competitive Senate elections in the midterms but as the COVID numbers and inflation data turn grimmer month by month, Stuart Rothenberg isn’t ruling out a GOP wave in the upper chamber:
The irony here is that while some Democrats worry that carving out an exception to the filibuster might set a bad precedent, the imbalance in the three Senate classes, which I wrote about in May, may give Republicans a chance at a filibuster-proof majority during the 2024 elections, when the Senate map strongly favors the GOP.
Of course, when I noted that, President Joe Biden’s job approval was sitting in the low-to-mid 50s, while his disapproval was about 10 points lower.
Now, those numbers have reversed, and there are more questions about the sitting president’s ability to deliver on his promised “Build Back Better” plan, his ability to make headway against the coronavirus, his ability to work with Republicans in a bipartisan fashion and his ability to return things “back to normal” — all goals he articulated during the presidential campaign and subsequently…
Empty supermarket shelves are not exactly a good look for the president and his economic team.
If the GOP were to stun Democrats by adding three or four seats this fall, they’d have an outside chance at winning 60 seats in 2024. They’ve never held a filibuster-proof majority before. Although, ironically, that arguably makes Schumer’s and Biden’s mission to end the filibuster now that much more urgent. It’ll be years before Democrats have a chance to move their agenda again; only by going nuclear and putting some of those agenda items on the books this year will they be able to enact them anytime soon.
The worse the electoral outlook gets, the more desperate Democrats will become. Maybe even … Joe Manchin, who continues to wear the scarlet “D” next to his name in a Trump +40 state. He’s West Virginians’ favorite Democrat, but that in itself is no guarantee of reelection in a blood red state in 2024.
Axios reported this afternoon, by the way, that Schumer has hit upon a procedural gimmick that will allow him to at least *start* debate on voting rights in the Senate, creating a platform for his members to grandstand on the issue and theoretically putting pressure on Manchin and Sinema to come around. They’d still need to nuke the filibuster to end debate and proceed to a vote on the final bill, which almost certainly won’t happen. But Schumer’s going to throw the left a bone by putting on a show in the Senate about it before finally being forced to capitulate.
I’ll let this guy, speaking in 2005, have the final word. Just say no to procedural power grabs!
In 2005, Biden warned against ending the filibuster:
“[Republicans] may own the field right now, but you won’t own it forever. And I pray God when the Democrats take back control, we don’t make the kind of naked power grab you are doing.” pic.twitter.com/rq4oaDOCVY
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) January 12, 2022
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