Downgraded as Senate Minority Leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell backs down on his demand to keep the filibuster rule as condition to the power-sharing agreement. Senator McConnel’s petty demand has been holding up finalization of the power sharing agreement between him and Senator Schumer, the new Senate Majority Leader. Unless the agreement has been finalized, the Upper House cannot proceed with other procedures to officially start a new round of Senate sessions.
Presumably, the Senator from Kentucky finally realized that the Senate has more important matters to work on, and that his insistence over the controversial rule is only causing much delay. As it is, Majority Senate Leader Chuck Schumer told Senator McConnell that he cannot guarantee the continuance of the filibuster rule in case Democrats make a move to remove it as part of the Senate’s procedural processes.
As of now, the Republicans and Democrats are on a 50-50 standing. Any voting that results to a tie, will be decided by Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris in her role as Senate President.
What is the Filibuster Rule And Why Democrats are Planning to Remove It?
The filibuster rule is a procedure in politics that allows members of a lawmaking body such as parliament or congress, to discuss a suggested piece of legislation for long periods. However, through the years since the rule was introduced, the practice of going into long periods of discussions has been overused.
It later became a tactic for delaying and eventually keeping a legislative proposal canned, to eventually die out once it gets buried. To force the end of a prolonged debate, members of the Senate must vote on the proposal but requires garnering 60 votes in order to pass as law. Otherwise, the matter will again be a subject for debate until another voting process is called to settle the matter.
That is why the filibuster rule is branded as an act of “talking out a bill” because as a result of the prolonged discussions over a certain legislative proposal, the bill sometimes gets buried to give priority to other pressing matters. In some cases, the proposed bill tends to die down.