Republicans threaten floor takeover if Democrats weaken filibuster 

Senate Republicans are threatening they will attempt a takeover of the Senate agenda by forcing votes on issues ranging from the Keystone XL pipeline to abortion rules to a U.S-Mexico border wall if Democrats weaken the filibuster.

Republicans are also looking at smaller bills such as a proposal to prohibit the administration from imposing a fracking ban by executive order, a prohibition on the IRS implementing new reporting on banks to disclose individuals’ banking activity and mandatory detention for illegal immigrants who commit serious crimes.

Senate Republican leaders on Monday said they have a list of bills they will try to bring to the floor under Rule 14 and debate if Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) rounds up enough Democrats to lower the threshold for beginning debate on a bill from 60 votes to 50.

“Since Sen. Schumer is hellbent on trying to break the Senate, Republicans will show how this reckless action would have immediate consequences,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) said Republicans have a list of bills that Schumer would not be keen on considering that could pass the chamber with the support of the entire GOP conference and one or two moderate Democrats such as Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) or Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).

“We have a lot of bills, actually, that have bipartisan support that Democrats have expressed support for previously,” Thune said Monday afternoon.

The No. 2 Senate Republican said if Democrats effectively lower the threshold on the procedural motion to begin debate on a bill to 50 votes, it would allow Republicans to bring legislation such as a bill to authorize construction of the Keystone XL pipeline to the floor for a vote.

Two Democrats, Manchin and Sen. Jon Tester( Mont.), in February voted for an amendment to the budget reconciliation to resurrect the Keystone XL project. The amendment was adopted by a vote of 52-48 before later being stripped out of the resolution.

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