Monday, January 17, 2022

Republicans Prepare Their Wish List for Filibuster-Free Senate; GOP’s Post-Filibuster Wish List: Keystone XL Pipeline, Abortion Rules, Border Wall

AP Photo/Evan Vucci
Republicans prepare their wish list for filibuster-free Senate:
Democrats may be paving an eventual path to stiffer ballot standards if they trigger the “nuclear option” to carve out a special exception to Senate filibuster rules to approve voting rights legislation.
The next time Republicans take power in Washington, they will use the filibuster-free window to erase some Democratic changes and impose their own ideas about national election integrity, political professionals say.
Without a Democratic filibuster, Republicans could force states to clean up voter rolls or ban the practice of ballot harvesting.
Republicans promise it won’t stop there.
A filibuster exception for Democrats’ priority issue would quickly expand to accommodate Republicans the next time their party takes control of the political levers in Washington.
Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, ticked off a list.
“More pro-life bills, more bills supporting, let’s see, universal carry under the Second Amendment, say more border security, more national security legislation to support our military,” Mr. Cornyn said. “Those are just a few of the areas.” --->READ MORE HERE
Photo: paul ratje/Reuters
GOP’s Post-Filibuster Wish List: Keystone XL Pipeline, Abortion Rules, Border Wall:
Republican senators’ comments on desired legislation come as many Democrats push to eliminate Senate’s 60-vote threshold
Republicans are publicly airing a wish list of bills they could pass in a future GOP-controlled Senate free of the filibuster, a warning shot intended to curb Democrats’ growing enthusiasm for abolishing the 60-vote threshold to advance most legislation.
“How would they feel about a Republican Senate operating with 51 votes majority deciding that they need to have a national right-to-work law?” asked Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) at a recent press conference, referring to legislation that would bar mandatory union fees.
Other possibilities, according to Mr. McConnell and fellow Senate Republicans: anti-abortion bills, tighter election and immigration laws, loosening of environmental regulations, concealed-carry gun reciprocity in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and defunding cities that have adopted so-called sanctuary policies to limit cooperation with immigration authorities.
All of these proposals embraced by the party’s conservative base would have little hope of passing under current Senate rules, which require most bills to clear a 60-vote procedural hurdle, but would stand a better chance of becoming law with a future GOP-controlled Congress and White House if just 51 votes were required. The Senate is currently split 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris holding a deciding vote in the event of a tie.
“I would just remind the Democrats, no majority is forever,” said Sen. John Barrasso (R., Wyo.), a member of GOP leadership. “There’s really no going back from this. If they do it, they have some short-term political, partisan gain, but it’s going to come at a heavy price.”
Mr. Barrasso offered his own list of conservative priorities for a GOP-controlled Senate to pass in the absence of the filibuster, including completion of the southern border wall, expediting energy and mineral production on federal lands and waters, and reinstating the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline. Republicans also could change the way Medicaid is paid for by converting open-ended federal funding matches to block grants that limit funding, he said.
The Republicans’ comments come as momentum is mounting within the Democratic Party to eliminate or weaken the filibuster to pursue voting-rights and gun-control legislation, immigration bills and other measures that passed the Democratic-led House but are set to be blocked by Republicans in the evenly divided Senate. --->READ MORE HERE
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