WASHINGTON—Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell threatened Tuesday to grind the Senate to a halt if Democrats make any changes to the legislative filibuster, after West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a centrist Democrat, floated the idea of requiring senators to be present and talking on the floor to block bills.
“This chaos would not open up an express lane to liberal change. It would not open up an express lane for the Biden presidency to speed into the history books,” McConnell (R., Ky.) said in a speech Tuesday. “The Senate would be more like a hundred-car pileup. Nothing moving.”
Democrats are at least two votes shy of the 51 needed to kill off the legislative filibuster, a step that would clear the way for them to pass legislation on voting rights, immigration, gun regulations and other measures unlikely to attract bipartisan support. As an alternative, Manchin and other Senate Democrats are exploring a return to traditional “talking filibusters,” like the one famously depicted by Jimmy Stewart in the 1939 film “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”
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