Richard Blumenthal Warns Senate Democrats Against 'Complacency' Over Mitch McConnell

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) has warned Democrats against "complacency" in regard to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) after the GOP figurehead signaled he would move forward with a power-sharing agreement.

McConnell had sought assurance from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) that there would be no moves to scrap the legislative filibuster. This demand led to a deadlock in the sides organizing the chamber and a raft of aspects of Senate business.

However, McConnell has now indicated his openness to move forward due to two Democratic Senators outlining their support for retaining the 60-vote legislative filibuster.

"With these assurances, I look forward to moving ahead with a power-sharing agreement modeled on that precedent," he said in a statement.

He added in a tweet: "With this win, we can move forward with a 50-50 power-sharing agreement built on the 2001 precedent."

In contrast to McConnell's framing of the situation as a win, it was deemed a capitulation from the Republican by Schumer.

"We're glad Sen. McConnell threw in the towel and gave up on his ridiculous demand," Justin Goodman, a spokesman for Schumer, said in a statement.

Blumenthal, though, has warned that McConnell's push against the Democrats was only a "first test."

"McConnell's caving is a victory, but no cause for complacency. This organizing resolution is only the first test," he tweeted, sharing a report regarding McConnell's comments on moving forward with an agreement.

"Bigger ones lie ahead & McConnell's quest to regain control is unchanged."

In regard to the agreement, Schumer spokesman Goodman had previously said Schumer saw an agreement similar to the 2001 proposals, the last time the Senate was split 50-50, as the easiest and fairest path forward. He spoke of there not being "extraneous changes from either side."

The Democrats have control of the Senate thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris' tie-breaking vote in situations where there is a 50-50 split. But in practice there is a need for an agreement to govern the daily work of the Senate.

Without scrapping the filibuster, Democrats could still use reconciliation to push through parts of their agenda—though this could only be used for spending and tax bills.

Newsweek has contacted Blumenthal, McConnell and Schumer's offices for comment.

mitch mcconnell at inauguration
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) at the inauguration of President Joe Biden on January 20, 2021 in Washington, D.C. McConnell has indicated his stance in moving forward with a power-sharing agreement in the Senate. Melina Mara/Pool/Getty Images