The House of Representatives on Thursday passed a spending bill that will avert a government shutdown and pay $5.7 billion toward construction of a border wall after President Donald Trump declared he would not sign a bill that did not include wall funding. Now that this legislation moves to the Senate, where it will likely fail to meet the 60-vote threshold to overcome a filibuster, President Trump is calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to invoke the “nuclear option” and end the filibuster.
Mitch, use the Nuclear Option and get it done! Our Country is counting on you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 21, 2018
Trump’s demand was echoed by Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont.
House just passed a bill that fully funds government and enables @realDonaldTrump to secure our border/build the wall. Senate can do same by eliminating the filibuster. 51 votes, same as we do for judges!
— Steve Daines (@SteveDaines) December 21, 2018
Changing the rules of the United States Senate to end the filibuster will require a 51-vote majority agreeing to the changes. As it stands now, with 51 Republicans in the Senate, every single GOP senator would need to vote for the rule change to invoke the nuclear option.
At least three Republicans have publicly announced they will not vote for the nuclear option.
The Senate filibuster is about the only mechanism left in Washington that brings the parties together. Deploying the nuclear option would blow that up. I will not vote to do it. https://t.co/XDL19fuSMP
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) December 21, 2018
We have rules to follow. I want to put a stop to this practice of the Senate breaking its rules to change its rules. I will not vote to turn the Senate into a rule-breaking institution and I hope that my colleagues will not.
Read my full statement here: https://t.co/RcptSopNhk
— Sen. Lamar Alexander (@SenAlexander) December 21, 2018
“I’ve long said that eliminating the legislative filibuster would be a mistake. It’s what’s prevented our country for decades from sliding toward liberalism. It’s inconvenient sometimes, but requiring compromise is in the interest of both parties in the long term.”
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) December 21, 2018
The nuclear option is not happening in the United States Senate. Fortunately, there are other ways to overcome a Democratic filibuster and pass wall funding, if McConnell is willing to have the fight.
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
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