Democrats are shooting down an effort by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump selects South Carolina lawyer for impeachment trialMcConnell proposes postponing impeachment trial until FebruaryFor Biden, a Senate trial could aid bipartisanship around COVID reliefMORE (R-Ky.) to include protections for the legislative filibuster as part of a Senate power-sharing deal.
“Were not going to give him what he wishes. If you did that then there would be just unbridled use of it. I mean nothing holding him back,” said Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinOvernight Defense: House approves waiver for Biden’s Pentagon nominee | Biden to seek five-year extension of key arms control pact with Russia | Two more US service members killed by COVID-19Senate approves waiver for Biden’s Pentagon nomineeBipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus reliefMORE (Ill.), the No. 2 Senate Democrat, on Thursday.
McConnell has urged Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerNRSC chair says he’ll back GOP incumbents against Trump primary challengersSchumer becomes new Senate majority leaderUS Chamber of Commerce to Biden, Congress: Business community ‘ready to help’MORE (D-N.Y.) to include a preservation of the 60-vote legislative filibuster in any deal they strike on how to organize an evenly split 50-50 Senate, a request that is threatening to drag out their talks and keep much of the Senate in limbo for several more days. 
McConnell, according to Durbin, wanted to include in the Senate’s rules a guarantee that there would be no effort to pursue the “nuclear option” changing the rules with a simple majority rather than the higher 60- or 67-vote threshold during the next two years, or as long as the 50-50 split lasted. 
McConnell and Schumer are still negotiating over how to organize the Senate, keeping the chamber in an odd state where Democrats control the majority but, because the chamber hasn’t passed a new organizing resolution, Republicans still control the majority of some committees.  
Schumer has been publicly tightlipped over their talks, as well as McConnell’s specific demand, except to say that he believes they should agree to a resolution modeled off 2001, the last time there was a 50-50 Senate. 
“On an organizing resolution, Leader Schumer expressed that the fairest, most reasonable and easiest path forward is to adopt the 2001 bipartisan agreement without extraneous changes from either side,” a spokesman said earlier this week after an initial meeting between the two leaders failed to produce an agreement. 
It’s unclear if an alternative to protecting the filibuster in writing, like a handshake agreement between Schumer and McConnell or a floor speech by Schumer, could satisfy both sides and get the talks back on track. Democrats are poised to have their first caucus call since taking over the majority on Thursday. 
Republicans argue that the organizing resolution is the best place to address the future of the filibuster because it prevents a decision from being made in the middle of a heated political debate.  
I believe the time is ripe to address this issue head on before the passions of one particular issue or another arise,” McConnell wrote in a letter to his caucus earlier this week.
McConnell defended his strategy on the Senate floor Thursday, noting that Biden and other Democrats have previously supported the filibuster.
“I cannot imagine the Democratic leader would rather hold up the power-sharing agreement than simply reaffirm that his side won’t be breaking this standing rule of the Senate. I appreciate our ongoing good-faith discussions and look forward to finding the solution together,” he said.
With a slim 50-50 majority that hinges on Vice President Harris breaking any ties, Democrats don’t have the votes to nix the 60-vote legislative filibuster, even as the idea has gained steam in the caucus.
Progressive activists are pledging to ramp up pressure to try to get rid of, or at least weaken, the legislative filibuster, arguing that it stands in the way of many of their, and President Biden’s, top priorities such as immigration reform, voting rights and democracy reforms and limits their options on healthcare.  
“We should eliminate the filibuster,” Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyDemocrats shoot down McConnell’s filibuster gambitBiden signs executive order invoking 2-year lobbying ban for appointees Five centrist Democrats oppose Pelosi for Speaker in tight voteMORE (D-Mass.) tweeted on Thursday.
But several Democrats, most notably Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinBipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus reliefDemocrats shoot down McConnell’s filibuster gambitDemocrats torn on impeachment trial timingMORE (D-W.Va.), are opposed to getting rid of it. Because Democrats only have 50 seats, they would need the support of every senator in order to change the rules on the filibuster via the “nuclear option.”  
But Democrats also believe that leaving it on the table as a potential pathway could force Republicans to cut deals and don’t want to box themselves in as they pledge to pursue a “bold” agenda. They would face a wave of acrimony from progressives if they agreed to a demand that many believe McConnell would never sign on to if the situation was reversed. 
“They should just have a simple organizing resolution like they have in the past. Its not the time to make decisions like that, this is the time to simply figure out how are you going to share power when you have a 50-50 senate with Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris takes up temporary residence at Blair House Amanda Gorman captures national interest after inauguration performanceDemocrats formally elect Harrison as new DNC chairMORE as the deciding vote,” said Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharA Day in Photos: The Biden Inauguration Senators vet Buttigieg to run Transportation DepartmentDemocrats shoot down McConnell’s filibuster gambitMORE (D-Minn.), the chairwoman of the Rules Committee.  
Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphySenate approves waiver for Biden’s Pentagon nomineeDemocrats shoot down McConnell’s filibuster gambitSenate confirms Biden’s intel chief, giving him first Cabinet officialMORE (D-Conn.) added that there wasn’t “any reason to look beyond the precedent that existed the last time we shared power in the Senate. ”  
“Its generally up to the majority as to whether they want to pursue a conversation about changing the rules and we should reserve that right,” Murphy said, adding that while there wasn’t currently a consensus about what rules changes Democrats as a caucus could support, “that consensus may emerge down the line.”
Updated at 1:20 p.m.