Former Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) came forward on Tuesday during a CNN interview to accuse Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) of possessing too much power, leaving the Senate on “life support.”
People want to blame the filibuster as being the reason. That’s not the case. The Senate has worked in the past with the filibuster,” Nelson said.
“So that isn’t the answer. I think what’s happened, I think the leaders of the caucuses, the Democratic leader, and/or, in this case, the Republican leader can have too much power seeded to it, and in particular, the leadership on the Republican side, Mitch McConnell,” he added.
Nelson also noted the deep partisan divide stopping the Senate from making decisions to help Americans.
“The leaders are there to make sure that the trains run on time and that the business of the Senate is accomplished, not to obstruct and assert at the very beginning of a presidential term that your number one goal is to make sure that that president doesn’t get reelected. That’s the problem, I think, we have in the Senate today.”
Nelson’s words come as the Senate has continued to argue over the filibuster, a rule that requires a supermajority of 60 out of 100 Senators to support most legislation in order for it to pass.
While Democrats opposed the filibuster when Republicans were in power, many have now pushed to end it. Nelson noted the issue isn’t the rule; it’s the leaders.
McConnell is certainly responsible for Senate leadership, but he’s not alone. In the 50-50 Senate, both parties are responsible to work together to serve Americans, regardless of partisan priorities.