Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is taking credit for defeating filibuster reform and preserving the GOP’s ability to block legislation.
The Kentucky Republican’s 2014 re-election campaign fired off a fundraising email to supporters after the finalization of the bipartisan rules change agreement, which passed Thursday night. The agreement negotiated by McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) leaves the 60-vote threshold in tact but speeds up the legislating process.
The email, subject line “We Beat the Liberals,” bragged that President Obama was “furious” after liberal senators and left-wing groups failed to pass their “dangerous scheme” to break down the checks and balances in the Senate.
“You see, they had been pushing a plan to end the filibuster, allowing Harry Reid and the Obama Democrats to pass their agenda with a simple majority,” wrote Jesse Benton, McConnell’s campaign manager. “Well, Mitch McConnell stood strong and stopped that scheme dead in its tracks.”
Senate Democrats rallied behind the deal even though some hoped it would go further. President Obama praised its passage. Republicans were pleased that Democrats did not use the “nuclear option” to change the rules on a partisan basis.
“[B]ottom line,” Benton declared, “Mitch McConnell saved the ability of Republicans to filibuster any bill at 60 votes. Period. … We all owe Leader McConnell a debt of gratitude today. We won the first battle. But there will be many more to come.”
The email ends by asking supporters to donate to McConnell’s campaign. It can be read here.
Sahil Kapur is a congressional reporter for TPM. He previously covered politics and public policy for numerous publications including The Guardian and The Huffington Post. He can be reached at sahil [at] talkingpointsmemo.com.