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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (R) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attend a joint session of Congress. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has abandoned his demand that Democrats state, in writing, that they would not abandon the legislative filibuster.

Between the lines: McConnell was never going to agree to a 50-50 power sharing deal without putting up a fight over keeping the 60-vote threshold. But the minority leader ultimately caved after it became clear that delaying the organizing resolution was no longer feasible.

What we're hearing: Centrist Democrats Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) privately indicated to McConnell their long-held views that they would not vote to end the filibuster, two sources familiar with the talks tell Axios.

  • McConnell seized on those promises as an escape hatch, as well as leverage to use over the members in case Democrats take up the issue in the coming months.
  • McConnell will give a longer take on the filibuster in his floor remarks Tuesday.

What they're saying: "Today two Democratic Senators publicly confirmed they will not vote to end the legislative filibuster," McConnell said in a statement late Monday evening.

  • "With these assurances, I look forward to moving ahead with a power-sharing agreement modeled on that precedent.”
  • Schumer spokesman Justin Goodman said in a follow-up statement: “We’re glad Senator McConnell threw in the towel and gave up on his ridiculous demand. We look forward to organizing the Senate under Democratic control and start getting big, bold things done for the American people.” 

What's next: Expect a detailed power-sharing accord to be announced this week, modeled after the 2001 Senate agreement between senators Tom Daschle and Trent Lott.

Go deeper

Jan 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Kaine, Collins pitch Senate colleagues on censuring Trump

Sen. Tim Kaine speaks with Sen. Susan Collins. Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine and Susan Collins are privately pitching their colleagues on a bipartisan resolution censuring former President Trump, three sources familiar with the discussions tell Axios.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction in his second impeachment.

Tech firms' nightmare: Vanishing green cards

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Thousands of green cards are about to go to waste, leaving Google, Microsoft and other tech companies fuming — and pushing the Biden administration to ensure it doesn't happen again.

Why it matters: Tech workers have waited years for green cards that will grant them permanent legal status in the U.S. — but because of pandemic-related processing delays, they will have to wait even longer.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

White House moves against "super-pollutant" in climate fight

Photo: Kena Betancur/VIEWpress/Corbis via Getty Images

The EPA is finalizing rules today that cut powerful greenhouse gases used in air conditioning and refrigeration, part of a wider new White House strategy to deter these "super-pollutants" and boost manufacturing of substitutes.

Why it matters: The EPA regulation is the U.S. part of a planned global phase-down of chemicals called hydrofluorocarbons. The global phaseout can prevent up 0.5 °C of global warming by 2100, the White House said.