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Tags: schumer | mcconnell | filibuster | bipartisan | democrats | gop | republicans

Schumer: Democrats Justified in Filibustering When GOP in Control

Schumer: Democrats Justified in Filibustering When GOP in Control
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., holds his press conference on upcoming Senate business in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, March 25, 2021. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

By    |   Friday, 26 March 2021 12:49 PM

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is defending Democrats' use of the filibuster to block the Republicans’ agenda when former President Donald Trump was in the White House.

He claimed they were justified because then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., would not negotiate with Democrats. Schumer made his remarks on Thursday during a press conference.

"The big difference is that we were always willing to negotiate in a bipartisan way," Schumer said. "Mitch McConnell isn't. The bills he puts on the floor, even when he calls them bipartisan, aren't."

Schumer maintained Democrats are much more willing to sit down with Republicans on legislation. But he said when Republicans controlled the Senate, McConnell was not willing to talk things out with Democrats.

"There's no discussion, no discussion," he said. "We are sitting down, I am encouraging my colleagues to sit down with Republicans and move forward. There's a big difference in how we're conducting things and the way they're conducting things."

"We will try to work with our Republican colleagues on a bipartisan basis when and where we can. We welcome it. But if they choose to obstruct rather than work with us to deliver the bold help American families need, we will push forward and make progress none-the-less. Failure is not an option."

Schumer would not say if he personally supports calls from other Democrats who want to eliminate the Senate filibuster to clear the way for President Joe Biden’s agenda, according to The Hill.

Ardent liberal Democrats are pressing hard to end the Senate filibuster, which would allow the passage of their election law bill — though it's a move McConnell has warned would cause a "100-car pileup" in a "scorched earth" chamber.

Democrats have invoked "Jim Crow" as a means to discredit the filibuster, a tactic which allows for endless debate to stall legislation and first enshrined in Senate rules in 1917. Prior to that, the Senate had no rules to end debate and the chamber installed a 67-vote threshold to create one. That was reduced to 60 in 1975.

The Hill noted that Republicans dismissed Schumer’s claims as revisionist history.

They pointed out that McConnell convened bipartisan working groups to assemble the CARES Act and that Schumer himself appeared pleased with early talks.

But Democrats said Republicans broke off the talks early before bringing a relief package to the floor on March 22, 2020, when it failed to advance on a motion to proceed, according to The Hill.

The Rev. Al Sharpton says he may organize rallies in the home states of Democrat senators — such as Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz. — who don't support abolishing the Senate filibuster, charging that they're, "in effect, supporting racism."

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Politics
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is defending Democrats' use of the filibuster to block the Republicans' agenda when former President Donald Trump...
schumer, mcconnell, filibuster, bipartisan, democrats, gop, republicans
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2021-49-26
Friday, 26 March 2021 12:49 PM
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