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He’s relenting on his demand that Democrats promise they won’t ditch the filibuster in a power-sharing agreement in a 50-50 Senate. McConnell’s willing to deal now – because he knows Democrats – and Republicans, for that matter – lack the votes to eliminate the filibuster.
We knew last week it was unlikely that there were ever the votes to get rid of the filibuster. But failing to eliminate the filibuster simply presents Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) with a problem. The left-wing of the Democrat Party will come for Schumer when the Senate fails to pass big-ticket items important to progressives, ranging from climate change to DC statehood. Schumer could only do that by extinguishing the filibuster. But he lacks the votes to do so.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., walks from the Senate floor to his office on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
The converse is true for McConnell: he has the power in a 50-50 Senate, but none of the responsibility. Without question, McConnell may emerge as the most powerful Minority Leader in Senate history.
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