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McConnell Gets Brutal Fact Check After Claiming the Filibuster 'Has No Racial History'

McConnell Gets Brutal Fact Check After Claiming the Filibuster 'Has No Racial History'
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

After narrowly passing the latest wave of pandemic relief, congressional Democrats are looking to pass landmark voting rights legislation as well as a host of other ambitious policies—but the Senate filibuster, which imposes a 60 vote threshold for most legislation to advance past debate, is standing in the way.

The filibuster is not in the Constitution and was only made possible through a Senate rules change in the early 1800s. It has a long history of being weaponized to block civil rights legislation.

As more Democrats express openness to reforming the filibuster or abolishing it altogether, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is on a crusade of intimidation against any changes whatsoever. Earlier this month, McConnell vowed that Democrats would see a scorched earth Senate beyond their worst imaginings if they did away with the 60 vote threshold.

And in a Tuesday press conference, McConnell took on one of the primary criticisms the filibuster faces: its racist history.

Or, as McConnell presented it, its lack of racist history.

Watch below.

When asked about his imminent use of the filibuster to block the House-approved election reform bill, the For the People Act, in the context of the filibuster's racial history, McConnell responded:

"Actually historians do not agree, it has no racial history at all. So, there's no dispute among historians about that."

In an exhaustive Twitter thread, historian Kevin M. Kruse responded to McConnell's claims with some of the times the filibuster was weaponized to fight efforts toward racial equity.

He wasn't the only one to call out McConnell.

McConnell's spokesman later claimed he was only talking about the "origins" of the filibuster, and then provided an incomplete Politifact quote.

The day after McConnell said historians weren't in dispute about the filibuster, Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei of Axios reported that President Joe Biden is prepared to support "chucking" the filibuster in order to pass bold legislation without Republican supprt.

According to Axios, he came to that conclusion after an undisclosed meeting with a group of historians.