Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump Agree That Removing Filibuster Would Ruin GOP

While former President Donald Trump and Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have been at odds with one another since Trump left office, both agree that removing the filibuster would ruin the Republican Party.

In a new podcast interview with Lisa Boothe, Trump warned Republicans that any efforts to eliminate the long-standing Senate filibuster would cause severe damage to the party.

Trump said McConnell was "hanging by a thread and if they get rid of the filibuster, if they knock it out, it will be catastrophic for the Republican Party."

McConnell, who has long advocated for keeping the filibuster, has also warned about abolishing the rule that allows the minority party in the Senate to force a debate on any issue before a vote.

"Rules like the filibuster, which requires 60 votes to advance most legislation, exist to block bad ideas from becoming law and to encourage bipartisan solutions. This design also stabilizes national policy from swinging with every shift of the political winds," McConnell wrote in an op-ed published by The Courier Journal on Monday. "The legislative filibuster is the essence of the Senate."

"The filibuster stops radical schemes like the Green New Deal and socialized health care that would devastate the Bluegrass," the senator wrote. "It protects Jeffersontown and Shively from being steamrolled by Brooklyn and San Francisco. Last year, the voters rehired me to use Kentucky's veto and protect our values."

Mitch McConnell
GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky holds a press conference in the Rayburn Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on March 2. McConnell wrote an op-ed on Monday defending the filibuster rule. Samuel Corum/Stringer

Members of both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party have long used the filibuster to block legislative pushes from the opposing side. But with a tied Senate and two swing moderate Democrats who threaten the Biden administration's agenda, Senate Majority Chuck Schumer is facing mounting pressure from progressives to remove the filibuster.

Moving to a simple majority requirement in the Senate would allow for the Democrats to pass more of their bills, with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie, but it would significantly limit the power of the Republican Party.

President Joe Biden, who spent more than three decades in the Senate, has signaled that he is in support of the filibuster.

Last week, Biden said, "You've got to work for the filibuster. It is almost getting to the point where democracy is having a hard time functioning."

Although Trump agreed with McConnell on the Senate provision, the former president continued to criticize McConnell for failing to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

"But if you look at what happened in the election, Mitch McConnell should've fought. You know, he did nothing. He should've fought. They should've fought. That could never have, that could never have happened to a Democrat," Trump told Boothe on Monday."

"What happened to us with the presidential election could never have happened to the Democrats," he continued. "You would have had a revolution if the tables were turned, you would have literally had a revolution. And guys like Mitch McConnell, they don't fight. And now he's hanging by a thread. He's hanging by a thread."

Newsweek reached out to the Republican National Committee for comment but did not hear back before publication.