Democrats and Republicans continue to fight on Capitol Hill as if fighting for different sides. Earlier this week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell responded to a mass shooting in Colorado said There are “deeply rooted philosophical differences between Republicans and Democrats in dealing with gun violence”.
It is painfully evident, however, that this is not the only controversial issue. Historically, cannabis reform is another controversial topic where they are scratching each other’s eyes. Even if the Democrats finally have a majority in Congress – a flex that should take the inevitable path of change – enough political power insanity comes from McConnell to cause trouble.
Clearly, in order for the Pot Reform to move forward, the Kentucky Republican, now 78, will have to announce his resignation like other long-time members of the GOP so that more progressive thinking can reign on the hill. After all, the anti-pot politician is not getting any younger so it is likely that America will soon offer him a good trip. Soon, but not soon enough.
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The word on the street is that McConnell is considering retiring in the next few years. Sources close to him lately told Politico that he would not step down until 2023, largely to break the record for the longest-serving Senate Chairman in history. This means that the idea of national cannabis reform could be sustained for a few more years. Senate Democrats simply don’t have the bipartisan clout to get the kind of “sweeping” cannabis reform they want to advance in 2021. But that doesn’t mean the Democrats won’t take a break at some point.
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A handful of Republican senators have already announced that they will retire in 2022. Some of them blame the inability to clear the partisan congestion for their decision to abandon the ship. Others just want to part with the party and catch their breath after surviving the four-year terror of the Trump administration. Further announcements could come later as politicians are forced to seriously consider their interest in re-election. It is a situation that could bode well for Democrats, who in the medium term may struggle to hold a majority in both houses.
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Further retirements would certainly make it harder for McConnell to regain supremacy for the GOP and regain his throne. It’s no secret that McConnell isn’t a huge fan of his new role as a minority leader. “I was both, and I can tell you the majority leader is better,” said McConnell told Reporter last year.
Even so, the split times don’t usually do well for the president’s party. However, the longer the Democrats can hold on to power, the better they will be at fulfilling their agenda. McConnell stands in the way of that itinerary – and that includes any bill related to legalizing marijuana.
There is a way around it, however, and that is to change or eliminate the filibuster. It is gaining traction with the Democrats, but the party still does not have enough votes. McConnell claims that if Democrats don’t just get the filibuster to pass laws, Republicans will simply overturn that policy once they win back the majority.
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Without the filibuster, Democrats could pass federal legalization of marijuana by a simple majority this year, but that move could be lifted once Republicans regain control. Of course, in such a case, the GOP would have to win back both houses of Congress and the White House to consolidate change. At the moment, Republicans have their hands full not to lose any more seats. It might be easier if they could somehow convince McConnell to retire early.
We’re even going to throw him a party.