WASHINGTON ― Senate Republicans, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, rejected President Donald Trump’s call to get rid of the filibuster to let the GOP pass legislation without any help from Democrats.
As the government heads into day two of its first shutdown since 2013, Trump tweeted Sunday morning that an easy way to end the ordeal would be for Senate Republicans to just change the chamber’s rules. Budget legislation currently needs 60 votes to pass in the 100-seat Senate ― which Republicans control with 51 members.
Trump has made this suggestion before, and senators in his party have always rebuffed it ― as they did again Sunday.
“Now, we all know in the Senate the minority has the power to filibuster,” Kentucky’s McConnell said on the floor Sunday afternoon. “I support that right from an institutional point of view, but the question is, when do you use it?”
Other GOP senators also made clear they have no desire to change the rules simply because the president wants them to.
The Senate reconvened at 1:00 p.m. Sunday and if it can’t reach a funding agreement, approximately 800,000 federal workers won’t report for work Monday, furloughed without pay until after the shutdown.
A group of moderate senators from both parties were meeting to hash out a potential compromise that would fund the government until Feb. 8, contingent on a promise to hold a vote on an immigration deal before then.
Amid the shutdown and attempts to find a solution, Trump’s re-election campaign released an online ad saying Democrats, in opposing the administration’s hard-line immigration policies, were “complicit” in murders committed by undocumented immigrants.