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McConnell knocks Kentucky Democrat over support for nixing filibuster

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Biden, Senate GOP take step toward infrastructure deal as other plans hit speed bumps Senate GOP to give Biden infrastructure counteroffer next week Masks shed at White House; McConnell: 'Free at last' MORE (R-Ky.) is taking aim at a fellow Kentuckian, Rep. John YarmuthJohn Allen YarmuthDemocrats see political winner in tax fight McConnell knocks Kentucky Democrat over support for nixing filibuster Democrats vow to go 'bold' — with or without GOP MORE, after the Democratic lawmaker urged the upper chamber to nix the legislative filibuster.

McConnell, in an op-ed for the Courier-Journal in Louisville, said that Yarmuth, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, "doesn’t seem to know Kentucky," and criticized him over a recent op-ed in which he called the 60-vote requirement for most legislation in the Senate a "minority veto."

"It’s really 'Kentucky’s veto.' The filibuster stops radical schemes like the Green New Deal and socialized health care that would devastate the Bluegrass," McConnell wrote.

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McConnell added that the legislative filibuster gives him a "big seat at the table" — even though Democrats have a majority in both chambers and control the White House.

"If Yarmuth had his way, Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi [D-Calif.] would have a free pass to leave Middle America out in the cold," he added.

Yarmuth, in an op-ed last week, described the Senate GOP leader as "panicking" over growing support among Senate Democrats for getting rid of or at least significantly changing the filibuster. 

"Eliminate the minority veto, make voting easy for everyone, give statehood to the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Time is running out. Let’s make hay while the bright sun of democracy is shining. This is a bet worth making. Ditch Mitch and the minority veto," Yarmuth added.

McConnell turned several of those issues back around on Yarmuth, arguing that the Democrat wanted the Senate to get rid of the filibuster in order to pass a "radical" agenda. McConnell has warned that the 60-vote requirement is the only thing standing in the way of the ideas pushed by progressives, although some of those, like the Green New Deal, don't have the support to pass even without the filibuster.

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"Yarmuth left no ambiguity in his radical ambitions. It starts with restrictions on gun ownership and packing the Senate with new Democrats. Then comes HR 1, a complete federal takeover of elections that overturns Voter ID and other Kentucky laws," McConnell said.

For Senate Democrats to deploy the "nuclear option" and gut the filibuster, they would need all 50 of their members to support the change. Activists got a win on Friday night, when Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinIf you want Julie Su at the DOL, don't point to her resume Senate Democrats push Biden over raising refugee cap Lawmakers react to guilty verdict in Chauvin murder trial: 'Our work is far from done' MORE (D-Calif.) opened the door to supporting the "talking filibuster," but several senators are viewed as wary and Democratic Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinJill Biden, Jennifer Garner go mask-free on vaccine-promoting West Virginia trip Manchin on infrastructure: 'We're gonna find a bipartisan pathway forward' Senate panel advances Biden's deputy Interior pick MORE (W.Va.) and Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaDC statehood bill picks up Senate holdout Sweeping election reform bill faces Senate buzz saw Biden 'encouraged' by meeting with congressional leaders on infrastructure MORE (Ariz.) are both on the record against nixing the 60-vote threshold.

Yarmuth hit back at McConnell's new op-ed on Twitter, saying on Monday that he was "proud to support such 'radical ambitions' as ending gun violence, making it easier for Americans to vote, and increasing the likelihood that the Senate will actually pass legislation supported by the overwhelming majority of Americans and Kentuckians."