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Senate leaders resolve filibuster differences, move forward with talks over power splitting 50-50 Senate

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the top Republican in Senate, leaves the chamber at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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UPDATED 6:31 AM PT – Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Top senators from both sides of the aisle are laying down their arms and moving forward with talks over sharing power.

On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled an end to the fight over the Senate filibuster. He credited the truce to Democrat lawmakers Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who McConnell said sided with the GOP.

“Senator Manchin, yesterday, made it clear he was not going to support getting rid of the legislative filibuster under any circumstances for the duration of this Congress,” McConnell stated. “I talked to Senator Sinema last night, she said the same thing, so the issue as far as I’m concerned is resolved.”

On Monday, McConnell said he would drop his push to get official confirmation that the upper chamber would keep the filibuster. He indicated the flipping of Sinema and Manchin waned Democrats’ power to kill the controversial practice.

McConnell noted, retaining the filibuster is essential in keeping the framers’ vision of the Senate intact, making it a deliberative and cooperative body.

With the filibuster at least 60 senators will have to agree on a bill for it to pass. Additionally, this dwindles Democrats’ power to use their slim majority to pass their legislative agenda by a simple majority.

“I think having that on the record pretty much ensures that at least for the foreseeable future, we’ll be able to maintain the 60 vote threshold when it comes to most legislation,” stated Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.). “And ensure that minority voices and votes are represented in the United States Senate.”

Meanwhile, McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will hash out the details of an organizing resolution. This will decide who will be assigned to the various Senate committees.

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