(DCWatchdog.com) – After Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer ramped up efforts to change the filibuster rules, saying a debate would take place before MLK Day, Senate Republicans have revealed the GOP would use the rules to vote on Republican bills.
In what appears to be an effort to take control of the Democrats’ purported threat, Senate Republicans plan to use Democrats’ plans to modify the filibuster to pass Republican bills that would garner 50 Republican votes and one or two Democratic votes.
This plan by the GOP would turn the Democrats’ plan to use the filibuster as a bargaining chip to pass voting legislation on its head. If the rule passes, Republicans intend to bring up legislation on the Keystone XL pipeline –– which by two Democratic Senators supported –– border security and end taxpayer-funded abortions.
The GOP’s idea to take control of the filibuster change was first revealed to the Wall Street Journal on Monday, a day before Biden would voice his support for modifying the Senate rule in his voting rights speech in Atlanta.
The change, which could be voted on as early as this week, would terminate the centuries-old 60 vote threshold, reducing it to 51 votes to advance legislation.
This maneuver would make it far easier for Democrats to advance bills that Republicans had stalled or refused to throw their support behind, but it could also work in Republicans’ favor.
If the filibuster is changed, Republicans have indicated they would leverage the change and bring up wish list legislation that would force lawmakers to side with their constituents over party leadership or attract Democratic support.
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Senate Minority Whip John Thune recommended Democrats “think long and hard” about pursuing a change that “allows Republicans to move items on our agenda at 51 [votes],” saying many of the items would be legislation Dems are “adamantly opposed to.”