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Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former President Trump warned the GOP that removing the filibuster would be "catastrophic for the Republican Party" during an interview on the podcast “The Truth with Lisa Boothe."

Flashback: Trump told Republican lawmakers in 2018 that keeping the filibuster would be "the end of the party," insisting that Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) would eliminate it as soon as Democrats took the majority, Politico reported at the time.

Why it matters: Schumer has faced mounting pressure from progressives to remove the filibuster for priority issues like climate change and voting rights.

  • Eliminating the 60-vote filibuster and moving to a simple majority requirement in the Senate would significantly limit the power of the minority party, which has often used the procedure to delay or block legislative action it opposes.

What he's saying: "Look, he's hanging by a thread right now with respect to the filibuster," Trump said about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) attempts to stave off any changes to the filibuster.

  • "[I]f they get the fili — he's hanging on Joe Manchin, who always goes with the Democrats. Joe talks, but he ends up going with the Democrats."
  • "Now there’s another great senator from the state of Arizona," Trump continued, referring to moderate Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.). "He's hanging by a thread and if they get rid of the filibuster, if they knock it out, it will be catastrophic for the Republican Party."

Trump went on to attack McConnell as weak, arguing that the party needs "better leadership" in order to "rein in" anti-Trump senators like Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.).

  • "And now, they knock out the filibuster, it’s going to be a real problem. ... they’re gong to have a free for all," he added.
  • "And I told Mitch McConnell from almost the first day, I said, look, the first thing they’re going to do is knock out the filibuster. So if they’re going to knock it out, maybe we should and get everything that we want."

The state of play: McConnell last week warned Democrats that removing the filibuster would "break the Senate" and turn the chamber into a "100-car pileup" where chaos reigns.

  • He also promised retribution if the GOP took back control of the Senate, saying, "We wouldn't just erase every liberal change that hurt the country —we'd strengthen America with all kinds of conservative policies with zero, zero input from the other side."

Go deeper

Chauvin trial leaves cities, activists across America on edge

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The impact of the Derek Chauvin trial is reverberating far beyond the walls of the downtown Minneapolis courtroom.

The state of play: With the trial set to enter its third week, activists across America are watching the proceedings unfold with heavy skepticism that what they perceive as justice will be served.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

The dispiriting housing boom

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It's a discouraging scene: Bidding wars, soaring prices, and fears that homeownership is becoming out of reach for millions of Americans. We're in a housing frenzy, driven by a massive shortage of inventory — and no one seems to be happy about it.

Why it matters: Not all bubbles burst. Real estate, in particular, tends to rise in value much more easily than it falls. Besides, says National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun, this "is not a bubble. It is simply lack of supply."

Updated 7 hours ago - World

China's COVID vaccines have low efficacy rates, official says

China Centers for Disease Control director Gao Fu at a March event in Beijing, China. Photo: Han Haidan/China News Service via Getty Images

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention's director said Saturday authorities are considering mixing COVID-19 vaccines because the country's domestically made doses "don't have very high protection rates," per AP.

Why it matters: The remarks by the Gao Fu at a news conference in the southwestern city of Chengdumark mark the first time a Chinese health official has spoken publicly about the low efficacy of vaccines made in China.

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