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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday condemned Democratic support for abolishing the legislative filibuster, arguing that it would create a "scorched-earth Senate."

Why it matters: Many Democrats are pushing to use their newfound majority to eliminate the 60-vote threshold needed for major legislation, which would make it easier to pass progressive priorities. Resistance from Republicans and moderate Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (W.V.) has made that unlikely.

The big picture: McConnell and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) this week appeared unable to reach a power-sharing agreement to organize the Senate after McConnell demanded a written commitment that Democrats would not abolish the filibuster.

  • McConnell dropped the demand on Monday night. Schumer cast this as a win, but McConnell said on the Senate floor Tuesday that he only did so because he had received public commitments not to abolish the filibuster from Sinema and Manchin.
  • Proponents of the filibuster argue it protects the interests of the minority party, while opponents say it kneecaps lawmakers from passing legislation.

What they're saying: "If your legislation can't pass the Senate, you don't scrap the rules or lower the standards. You improve your idea, take your case to the people, or both," McConnell said in a speech on the Senate floor.

  • "Four years ago, Republicans had just won unified control. President Trump and others pressured us heavily, me in particular, to scrap this rule when it was protecting the Democratic minority," McConnell continued.
  • "But we stood firm. I stood firm, endured many tweets on the subject. I said we would not do that to our colleagues in the minority. No short term policy win justifies destroying the Senate as we know it."

Go deeper

Young people want checks on Big Tech's power

Data: Generation Lab; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The next generation of college-educated Americans thinks social media companies have too much power and influence on politics and need more government regulation, according to a new survey by Generation Lab for Axios.

Why it matters: The findings follow an election dominated by rampant disinformation about voting fraud on social media; companies' fraught efforts to stifle purveyors of disinformation including former President Trump; and a deadly Jan. 6 insurrection over the election organized largely online.

Mike Allen, author of AM
3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden adviser Cedric Richmond sees first-term progress on reparations

Illustration: "Axios on HBO"

White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" that it's "doable" for President Biden to make first-term progress on breaking down barriers for people of color, while Congress studies reparations for slavery.

Why it matters: Biden said on the campaign trail that he supports creation of a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations — direct payments for African-Americans.

Cyber CEO: Next war will hit regular Americans online

Any future real-world conflict between the United States and an adversary like China or Russia will have direct impacts on regular Americans because of the risk of cyber attack, Kevin Mandia, CEO of cybersecurity company FireEye, tells "Axios on HBO."

What they're saying: "The next conflict where the gloves come off in cyber, the American citizen will be dragged into it, whether they want to be or not. Period."