The Kentucky Republican argued that “strong minority rights have always been the Senate’s distinguishing feature” and reminded Democrats that when they used the “nuclear option” in 2013 to lower the supermajority threshold to break a filibuster for nominees, he had cautioned they would soon wish they hadn’t.
“You’ll regret this, and you may regret this a lot sooner than you think,” McConnell wrote at the top of his commentary, quoting his own admonishment to Democrats as then-Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, forced through that rules change.
Confirming so many judges has been a hallmark for Trump and McConnell, who both tout it as one of their most significant achievements as they each seek reelection.
“So, this is the legacy of the procedural avalanche Democrats set off,” wrote McConnell, predicting the “consequences of taking Sen. Reid’s advice will haunt liberals for decades.”
McConnell used his op-ed to blast liberal policies coming from the presidential campaign trail as reason to ensure 60 votes are needed to pass any major laws and said Republicans would take a long view, recognizing majority control in the chamber can go back and forth with each election.
“My Republican colleagues and I have not and will not vandalize this core tradition for short-term gain. We recognize what everyone should recognize — there are no permanent victories in politics. No Republican has any trouble imagining the laundry list of socialist policies that 51 Senate Democrats would happily inflict on Middle America in a filibuster-free Senate,” McConnell said.
Democratic presidential candidates such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sen. Kamala Harris of California have said they would back changing the filibuster for legislation, so that a filibuster could be broken by a simple majority vote and not the 60 votes currently required.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, has declined to say exactly what he would support until after the election, but he told reporters recently that “nothing is off the table.”
“If future Democrats shortsightedly decide to reduce the Senate to majority rule, we’ll have lost a key safeguard of American government,” McConnell at the end of his op-ed. “And — stop me if you’ve heard this one — they’d regret it a lot sooner than they think.”