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Donald Trump wants Republican to go ‘nuclear’ to end government shutdown

Trump has forgotten one important thing, though.


Josh Katzowitz


Published Jan 21, 2018   Updated May 22, 2021, 4:00 am CDT

As the government shutdown enters its second day, President Donald Trump has some advice for his fellow Republicans: Go nuclear.

With Trump continuing to blame Democrats for closing the government—Twitter Trends has a different take on whose fault it is, though—he tweeted some advice early Sunday morning to the Senate Republican leadership. Get rid of the filibuster rule that requires 60 votes to get a funding deal passed.

This isn’t the first time Trump has tried to convince Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to get rid of the filibustering rule, which would then allow any vote in the Senate to be won by a simple majority. Last July, after Congress failed to repeal Obamacare, Trump tweeted that McConnell should end the filibuster.

McConnell, though, has said plenty of times before that he wasn’t going to nuke the filibuster rule.

Even though the Democrats in 2013 changed the rule that allowed filibusters for lower-court and appeals-court judge nominees and even though McConnell expanded that rule in 2017 to cover Supreme Court justice nominees, he doesn’t want to get end the longtime Senate quirk altogether.

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

But here’s what Trump forgets (or ignores). Just like in the effort to appeal Obamacare, a simple majority vote wouldn’t have mattered anyway. That’s because too many Republicans joined most of the Democratic caucus and voted against continuing to fund the government with the current legislation. In this case, Republican leadership couldn’t even get 51 votes to keep the government open. Ending the filibuster rule wouldn’t have changed that.

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*First Published: Jan 21, 2018, 7:52 am CST