McConnell in Ky. today advocating for effectiveness of vaccines and dinging Biden for not working with GOP on covid

"We need to get to herd immunity," McConnell says. Says he's heard GOP men are reluctant to get vaccine. "There's no real good reason not to get the vaccination"
McConnell says Biden's infrastructure-ish package "is not going to get support from our side. The last thing the economy needs is a big whopping tax increase"
"He's a first-rate person," McConnell says of Biden. "Nevertheless, this is a bold left-wing administration. I don't think they have a mandate to do what they are doing"
"Problem is I don't get to set the agenda anymore," McConnell says when asked what his agenda is.

"But for one seat in Georgia I would be setting the agenda"

Says he's playing "defensive coordinator" now

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More from @burgessev

23 Mar
There is no room for compromise in the Senate on voting rights legislation and it's driving the chamber to "nuclear" fight.

Sens. Klobuchar and Blunt are chummy, effective Rules committee leaders but have a "fundamental disagreement" on this, AK says…
Klobuchar: "You are seeing a fundamental difference between the two parties on voting. Let’s not sugarcoat it.”

“I don’t think there is common ground," Blunt says.

Klobuchar said there are 9 bipartisan things in bill. Blunt's retort: “So what? That means absolutely nothing.”
“Folks want to know where people like me fall on the filibuster. I think the bigger question is: Where do they fall on voting rights?” says Sen. Warnock. “The filibuster is a Senate rule. Voting rights goes to the foundation of who we say we are as American people.”
Read 6 tweets
23 Mar
News: Moderate Ds who opposed Bernie bill pushing for compromise on minimum wage, something short of $15 that can get GOP votes and preserves the tipped wage level

Schumer, Bernie, Wyden, Murray meeting with 8 dissenters on $15 bill…

@marianne_levine “I’ve taken immense grief [for my vote]. And I’m in favor of raising the minimum wage," said Sen. Angus King. A compromise is “better than nothing," he added. "And nothing is what we got eight years ago … it’s going to take 60 votes. So it’s going to require compromise.”
@marianne_levine Sen. Hassan on Bernie $15 bill: “I’ve long supported an increase in the minimum wage. I’ve generally been supportive of a $12 increase, but I was very concerned that in the midst of this pandemic this would have an impact, particularly on the restaurant business,”
Read 4 tweets
9 Mar
After Sunday show comments, Manchin says in interview he wants to keep the Senate's 60-vote threshold

"There's no way that I would vote to prevent the minority from having input into the process in the Senate. That means protecting the filibuster"…
“Jiminy Christmas, buddy. That’s why I even hate to say anything to you," Manchin said when asked about the hype his openness a talking filibuster had created.

“They must have read a lot more into that than just saying: ‘Let’s look at any way we can to preserve the filibuster.'"
Schumer says he Senate will begin taking up House-passed bills, like HR 1/Equality Act, etc.

“We're going to figure out a way. It’s a passion of mine to get [election reform] done ... Everything's on the table. We have to. What is not an option is not getting bold things done.”
Read 5 tweets
6 Mar
"Joe Manchin looked at it and was unsure,” Schumer said in a Saturday interview. “If Manchin would have approved the [GOP] amendment, the bill probably couldn't have passed the House. And I told him that. And he understood that.”…

@marianne_levine This was Schumer's first big legislative victory as leader. It was messy but significant: Joe Manchin and Bernie Sanders (and every Democrat) each providing the deciding vote on one of the biggest spending bills ever.

Talked to Biden and Klain multiple times a day over past few
@marianne_levine “This last 24 hours was really chaotic. If this was the first big test, I don’t think he … crushed it. It was a very undisciplined, unorganized process,” said Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) of Schumer.
Read 4 tweets
6 Mar
New agreement that Manchin approved keeps $300 unemployment payments through Sept. 6, per an aide. $10k in UI payments still not taxable but only applies to households making $150k or under
Manchin: “The President has made it clear we will have enough vaccines for every American by the end of May and I am confident the economic recovery will follow. We have reached a compromise that enables the economy to rebound quickly while also protecting those receiving” UI
Manchin’s whole thing was pushing people to go back to work and not incentivize people to stay on unemployment. He ended up getting several weeks shaved off the Carper proposal and means-testing eligibility for UI tax deductions
Read 4 tweets
5 Mar
We are officially in WTF territory on the Senate floor. The vote-a-rama has been stalled out for more than three hours. Dems don't yet have 50 for their most important amendment and Rs are trying to bring Manchin on board to Portman's unemployment trims.
The order of the votes hasn't been determined either. If Portman's goes first and it succeeds, Dems could rewrite it with Carper amendment. Until then, Democrats would prefer to stay on min wage vote until infinity rather than start working through GOP amendments
More here on the very smooth Democratic process today…

@caitlinzemma @marianne_levine
Read 4 tweets

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