- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 21, 2021

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday criticized President Biden for taking “several big steps in the wrong direction” on his first day in office, citing the Democrat’s moves to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement and to kill the Keystone XL pipeline project.

“This was not the Day One that American workers deserved,” the Kentucky Republican said on the Senate floor. “It’s still early. There’s still plenty of time for President Biden to remember that he does not owe his election to the far left.”

Mr. McConnell, who is negotiating a power-sharing agreement with Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer in the 50-50 Senate, also blasted Mr. Biden’s move to grant blanket amnesty for roughly 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. He said it will “invite another humanitarian crisis on our border.”

And he said Mr. Biden’s firing of the general counsel Peter Robb at the National Labor Relations Board, nearly a year before his term ends, was a “truly unprecedented move.”
Mr. Biden signed several executive actions immediately after his inauguration on Wednesday, reversing many policies of former President Donald Trump.

Mr. McConnell said he and Mr. Schumer, New York Democrat, are having “good faith” talks on an agreement for rules to run the evenly divided Senate. Vice President Kamala Harris will provide the tie-breaking vote for Democrats, but senators are debating whether to keep the 60-vote threshold on most legislative business, called the legislative filibuster.



“The legislative filibuster is a crucial part of the Senate,” Mr. McConnell said. “Leading Democrats like President Biden himself has long defended it.”

He called on Mr. Schumer to “simply reaffirm” that he won’t be breaking the long-standing rule, “if the talk of unity and common ground is to have meaning.”

Mr. Schumer, in his floor remarks, did not address the issue. Some Democrats are indicating they will reject Mr. McConnell’s efforts to keep the filibuster.

He called on Republicans not to hold up Mr. Biden‘s nominees for key positions on his national-security team, such as the secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security.

“The work of keeping our nation safe should not be disrupted,” Mr. Schumer said. “President Biden deserves his national security team in place as soon as possible.”

Sen. Brian Schatz, Hawaii Democrat, posted on Twitter on Thursday, “McConnell is threatening to filibuster the Organizing Resolution which allows Democrats to assume the committee Chair positions. It’s an absolutely unprecedented, wacky, counterproductive request. We won the Senate. We get the gavels.”

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