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Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that Senate Democrats can “slow” the process of confirming Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett “perhaps a matter of hours, maybe days at the most," but that they "can’t stop the outcome."

Why it matters: Durbin confirmed that Democrats have "no procedural silver bullet" to stop Senate Republicans from confirming Barrett before the election, especially with only two GOP senators — Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine — voicing their opposition. Instead, Democrats will likely look to retaliate after the election if they win control of the Senate and White House.

What he's saying: "We can slow it down, perhaps a matter of hours, maybe days at the most, but we can't stop the outcome. What we should do is to address this now respectfully," Durbin said.

  • "But understand the context, George. Sen. Mitch McConnell, who could find no time to attend the negotiating on the coronavirus relief package that we need to put together for the pandemic facing our country, for the unemployed people, for the businesses," he continued.
  • "Sen. McConnell refused to attend those meetings. Didn't have time to do it. And yet when this vacancy occurred, he dropped everything. Now we're going hellbent on getting this done before the election. And the second thing, of course, he had to reverse the position he took four years ago, saying that we should wait for the next president to fill the vacancy."

What to watch: Durbin addressed calls by some Democrats to eliminate the legislative filibuster and expand the Supreme Court if they take control of the Senate, saying that "a conversation about the future of the Senate rules is on the table" because of McConnell's "destruction and denigration" of the institution.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
Jan 4, 2021 - Politics & Policy

McConnell Party vs. Trump Party

Photo: Samuel Corum-Pool/Getty Images

The Republican battle lines being formed in President Trump's final days — his loyalists vs. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's establishment — will shape American politics for the next four years. 

Why it matters: This power struggle will help define everything from the future of conservatism and right-wing media to President-elect Biden’s ability to win Republican cooperation in office. More broadly and more importantly, the outcome will determine if Trumpism — and its norm-smashing tactics — come to permanently define one of America's two major political parties.

2020 Senate fights spark breathtaking fundraising totals

Data: FEC; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The battle for control of the U.S. Senate has triggered unprecedented fundraising at the congressional level, with one Democratic candidate out-raising Al Gore in his presidential race just 20 years ago.

By the numbers: The top 10 Senate fundraisers in 2020 brought in more than double the money raised by the top 10 campaigns in 2018, raking in over $1 billion collectively, according to data filed with the Federal Election Commission by Dec. 24.

Updated Jan 4, 2021 - Politics & Policy

More Republicans denounce GOP plans to challenge election results

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) speaks with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on October 15 in D.C. Photo: Bill O'Leary-Pool/Getty Images

More than a dozen House and Senate Republicans over the weekend attacked plans by colleagues to object to certifying 2020 election results, calling the effort ineffective, dangerous or lacking in evidence.

Why it matters: Although nearly all lawsuits brought by President Trump, his allies and his legal team to challenge election results have been dismissed, a group of Republican senators led by Ted Cruz says they will oppose certifying Joe Biden's win.