Donald Trump filibuster Twitter

Photo via Arlington National Cemetery/Flickr (Public Domain)

Donald Trump says Republican senators ‘look like fools,’ rants on Twitter about filibuster

The Senate is likely to ignore him.


Josh Katzowitz


Posted on Jul 29, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 10:21 pm CDT

A day after suffering a tremendous defeat in the effort to repeal Obamacare, President Donald Trump thinks he’s figured out the culprit: the Senate filibuster. In a Saturday morning Twitter rant, Trump said the Republicans should end the filibuster rule, one of the Senate’s most cherished quirks, and pass everything by a simple majority vote.

This is something Trump has advocated for before, but now that his party has suffered yet another legislative loss, he wants the Senate to change its rules.

In this case, a simple majority vote wouldn’t have mattered. Three Republican senators (Susan Collins from Maine, Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, and John McCain from Arizona) defected from the party and caused the bill to fail 49-51. There were parts of the repeal process that would have needed a 60-vote filibuster-proof majority to pass, but the skinny repeal bill was not one of them.

Though Trump has insulted McCain before and though he pressured Murkowski on Twitter before the final vote that she was letting down her constituents, Trump has refrained from attacking any of the Republican senators who shut down the bill since it was defeated early Friday morning.

Instead, Trump blamed the filibuster.

The Democrats, led by former Majority Leader Harry Reid, changed the rule in 2013 that forced the nominations of lower court and appeals court judges to garner at least 60 votes, and this year, in order to get Neil Gorsuch through the approval process, current Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) nuked that same rule for Supreme Court justice nominations. That means any judicial approval can now be passed with a simple majority vote.

But when Trump tweeted out his idea in May about ending the filibuster in general, McConnell said it wasn’t going to happen.

That would “fundamentally change the way the Senate has worked for a very long time,” McConnell said. “We’re not going to do that.”

Said Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) at the time: “It would probably be best if the president let Congress deal with those issues ourselves.”

Thus, Trump’s Saturday morning Twitter plan isn’t likely to make a difference in the way the Senate is run. After all …

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*First Published: Jul 29, 2017, 7:47 am CDT