Trump suggests the nuclear option of allowing a bare majority in the Senate to set the budget.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave Donald Trump a “swift rebuke” for suggesting the nuclear option of changing the rules to allow the Senate to set the budget by a simple majority. Instead of expressing his opposition to the President openly, he could have acted interested in the idea, and waited to see if this brought the Democrats to a more reasonable position. After all, Trump may only have been trying to pressure them. If that was his intent, McConnell spoiled the plan.
President Donald Trump says on Twitter that if the shutdown stalemate continues, Republicans should consider the so-called “nuclear option” in the Senate, which would allow them to vote on a long-term budget with a simple majority and no more continuing resolutions. “The Dems just want illegal immigrants to pour into our nation unchecked,” Trump says to kick off a day seen as the final chance for a rapid end to the shutdown.
Before the morning was over they reported on the Senate response:
The Senate Republic Conference “opposes changing the rules on legislation,” says David Popp, spokesman for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, after President Donald Trump suggested in a tweet that Republicans pursue the “nuclear option” to get the government reopened. The so-called nuclear option would allow the Senate to vote on spending bills with a simple majority of members, no longer needing 60 votes.
McConnell’s swift rebuke showed the distance between Trump and the Senate leader on the shutdown — hinting at a lack of coordinated Republican strategy to bring it to an end, despite the fact they’re both from the same party.
Dick Durbin, the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate, said that allowing one party to pass legislation with the slimmest of majorities “would be the end of the Senate as it was originally devised and created, going back to our Founding Fathers.”
Durbin is acting like the 60-percent rule is in the Constitution. But it is not. The Senate rule is a matter of parliamentary procedure that can be changed.
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