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The telegraph

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell drops objection to a power-sharing deal with Democrats

Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader of the U.S. Senate, said Monday that he would approve a power-sharing agreement with the Democrats, dropping demands that had held up the basic organization and day-to-day work of the 50-50 Chamber for days . Democrat Chuck Schumer, now majority leader thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris’s tie, and Mr. McConnell disagreed over Republicans’ demand that the Democrats promise to protect the filibuster, who requires a 60-vote majority to get most of the laws to advance. Mr. Schumer refused to guarantee that the filibuster would stay. In a statement, however, McConnell cited comments from moderate Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema who said they would not advocate getting rid of the filibuster. “The legislative filibuster was an integral part of the foundation of the last 50:50 Senate power-sharing deal in 2001,” said McConnell. “With these assurances, I look forward to advancing a power-sharing agreement along these lines.” A spokesperson for Mr Schumer, Justin Goodman, said in a statement: “We are glad that Senator McConnell has thrown in the towel and abandoned his ridiculous demand. We look forward to organizing the Senate under democratic control and doing great things boldly got done for the American people. “Some Liberal Democrats have proposed killing the filibuster to advance President Joe Biden’s agenda, although Mr Biden has not signaled support for such a move. In recent years, the 60-vote threshold has nearly brought the Senate to a standstill on key laws. Since Ms. Harris cannot attend every Senate session, the two party leaders have discussed a regulation to regulate day-to-day operations, similar to the last split in the Senate two decades ago. Senate committees have not yet been reorganized under democratic control. Democrats could unilaterally change the rules just to require a simple majority to approve bills, a move sometimes referred to as the “nuclear option” when all 50 members vote together and Ms. Harris has the casting vote. Mr Schumer refuses to guarantee under the agreement that the filibuster will be protected and keeps the threat as leverage in negotiating Mr Biden’s priorities, such as a new round of coronavirus aid.

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