Senate Rejects Trump Proposal To Eliminate Legislative Filibuster To Pass Border Wall Funding

Mitch McConnell
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Senate Republicans, following an early-morning emergency meeting with President Trump, have rejected his proposal to “go nuclear” and eliminate the rules allowing for a legislative filibuster against funding for the President’s proposed border wall project.

President Trump, who, according to CNN, had on public television declared that he would be proud to shut down the government if a budget for his border wall proposal was not approved, is now blaming Democrats for the partial shutdown, according to the Hill. In an early-morning tweet, the president urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to use the nuclear option and declared “our Country is counting on you!”

The government is scheduled to undergo a partial shutdown, placing thousands of federal employees on indefinite furlough, if a budget is not approved today. President Trump has vowed to not sign any legislation that does not include funding for the border wall, while legislation that includes the project does not have the votes in the Senate to pass. Thus, Trump has called for an end to filibuster rules that are allowing his political opponents to block funding for a border wall.

The Senate passed a seven-week stopgap funding bill on Wednesday, but President Trump has refused to sign it.

According to MSNBC, it isn’t even certain that should the Senate rescind filibuster rules to attempt to pass the border wall funding. There may not be the required 51 votes to pass the budget anyway, as it would require all 51 Republican Senators to vote for it.

Retiring Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, a Republican who has often publicly bucked the President’s agendas, said that he would not support any proposal to end the 60-vote filibuster.

“The Senate filibuster is about the only mechanism left in Washington that brings the parties together,” Senator Flake said.

“Deploying the nuclear option would blow that up. I will not vote to do it.”

“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,” said Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.

“I’ve long said that eliminating the legislative filibuster would be a mistake,” said Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, in a series of tweets.

“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.”

Even Mitch McConnell has told President Trump “repeatedly” that he would not support any legislation that would eliminate filibuster rules.

“With the regard to the filibuster rule, as I’ve told him repeatedly, the votes aren’t there to change it. They just aren’t there,” McConnell said.

“I simply disagree with the president about the harm that it does.”