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GOP Senators Shoot Down Trump’s Demand to End the Filibuster

GOP Senators Shoot Down Trump’s Demand to End the Filibuster

“We don’t have a rule problem, we’ve got a people problem.”

President Donald Trump wants to push through his agenda no matter what it takes. On Tuesday, he proved that when he tweeted out that the Senate change the rules to eliminate the 60 votes needed to avoid a filibuster when it comes to a spending bill.

The GOP in the Senate have put down their foot and gave the president a short answer: NO.

This is what Trump tweeted:

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/859392449181093888

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/859393829505552385

The spending bill Congress just passed expires on September 30, which means they need to develop a new one by October. The bill that passed did not come easy. From The Washington Post:

House Republicans are still split on whether to approve a bill he supports to roll back the Affordable Care Act, and Trump had to agree to major concessions on a stopgap spending bill in order for it to win support in the Senate, which typically requires 60 votes to pass legislation. Republicans only control 52 votes in the 100-seat chamber.

That made it easier for Democrats to block any funding for the creation of a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, which had been a top priority for Trump. They were also able to continue funding programs that Trump has sought to cut off or scale back, such as Planned Parenthood and the National Institutes of Health.

Despite the outrage from Trump, the GOP senators insisted they will not change the rules. From Politico:

“I’m not going to support a change in rules. The Founding Fathers set it up this way,” said Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), who’s been in Washington about three weeks longer than Trump. “It’s worked for centuries. It can still work. We don’t have a rule problem, we’ve got a people problem.”

He and I differ on that because without the filibuster this country would’ve been gone a long time ago,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the most senior GOP senator. “I’m gonna talk to him about it. I’ll get him back on line.”

Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (TX) considers the idea of lowering the votes a “real mistake” and reminded everyone that the 60 vote requirement has “saved us from a lot of really bad policy.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) did change the rules when it came to Trump’s Supreme Court nomination. But he vowed not to do that when it comes to legislation. He made it known the senate will not change the rules. From The Hill:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) slammed the door on the idea a few hours later, saying the elimination of the filibuster “will not happen.”

“There is an overwhelming majority on a bipartisan basis not interested in changing the way the Senate operates on the legislative calendar,” he said.

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Comments

ugottabekiddinme | May 2, 2017 at 8:57 pm

OK, here’s the elegant solution:

Leave the 60-vote requirement, fine. But restore the filibuster to the old style, via a simple change back to the Senate rule so that during a filibuster the Senate is not allowed to take up any other business, and require the filibusterer to hold the Senate floor without cessation until either the filibusterer folds or 60 Senators vote to end it.

Easy-peasy, and should only take a simple majority (hello, GOP???) to enact.

Connivin Caniff | May 2, 2017 at 9:18 pm

If the filibuster rule is not broken, nothing will happen, except the usual Republican capitulations, and those resulting big, fat “bipartisan” bills. The Republicans like that because that is their back handed way of growing rich in the swamp. Trump should counter that maneuver by using his own “filibuster” – the Presidential veto – until he hammers the scoundrels, kicking and screaming, into line. He can even threaten to veto each and every continuing resolution, until the bums begin to follow proper budget and spending procedures. The public will back him, if he explains to them what was in the bills their congressmen and senators never even bothered to read. This may sound tough to do, but otherwise, we die.

“No!”

Cuz the Democrats will be so fair as to not do that unmentionable thing to us should they ever be in the cat bird seat.

Mitch, ya make hay will the sun shines.

    Milhouse in reply to fscarn. | May 3, 2017 at 7:57 am

    Um, we can be reasonably certain they won’t, because they didn’t when they had the chance. They put up with Republican filibusters (including the one that forced them to botch 0bamacare once Scott Brown was elected) and made no move to abolish it. Fairness had nothing to do with that; they knew they’d one day be in the minority again, and they wanted to keep it for their own use. The same consideration will probably prevent them from abolishing it the next time they’re in the majority, if it still exists by then.

A cloture vote to end a filibuster was not in the rules of the Senate until 1917. It took 2/3 for cloture until 1975 when the current 60 vote standard was set. If the Senators want to go back to how the founding fathers ran things, no cloture and the House gets the filibuster also (allowed until 1842).

There are good reasons for and against it, standing on tradition isn’t one.

They know the rule that says only Democrats get to make rules.

The Republicans remember their 40 years in the wilderness. You know, the good old days of comity, when the good Republican minority worked well on supporting Democrat legislation.

“I’m not going to support a change in rules. The Founding Fathers set it up this way,” said Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.)

Kennedy needs to be replaced with someone who has actually read the Constitution. There’s nothing in the Constitution even remotely concerning the filibuster. Oh wait, maybe when he said “founding fathers” he was referring to Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer…

The Founding Fathers set it up this way,” said Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), who’s been in Washington about three weeks longer than Trump.

And is just as ignorant. The founding fathers did not set it up that way at all.

Even if by “founding fathers” he means the senators in 1806 who inadvertently made filibusters possible, if they had known how future senators would use this loophole they would have closed it. It took more than 30 years after it was created before anyone thought to take advantage of it. Those senators, nearly 50 years after the founding, can hardly be called “fathers”.

You can bet if the shoe was on the other foot, horrible Harry Reid would do it in a minute.

They are content with being the loyal opposition like they were in Dick Daley’s Chicago. Wrap as much language around it as you like, there’s No difference that I can see.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | May 3, 2017 at 10:24 am

They promised they’d go back to regular order if they got the majority. That means debating the 12 appropriation bills separately.

Instead, what they always do is roll all the appropriations into one omnibus bill then wait to the last minute to pass it. That gives all the power to the media/Democrats, who would rather poke their own eye out with an icepick than cut non-defense government spending by $1. Republicans who think military spending can not be scrutinized are also extreme. The Pentagon can’t do an audit to account for $6.5 TRILLION. And Republicans think it is a win to increase the military budget.

If they’d go back to regular order and enact appropriation bills separately, they might be able to get Trump/Republican priorities enacted. But doing it the way they always do it they may as well just raise the white flag of surrender and give control to the media/Democrats.

“The reason for the plan negotiated between the Republicans and Democrats is that we need 60 votes in the Senate which are not there!”

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 2, 2017

I watched the Limbaugh interview of Pence yesterday and I am appalled at Pence. He now sounds like the worst of the worst slick, mealy-mouthed, evasive politician in defending the most recent GOP train-wreck of a all-Democrat agenda spending bill.

Trump sounds tone-deaf when he calls for the electing of even more Senate Republicans rather than using the mandate that he already has to tell the only team on the field to SCORE! The correct option was to confront Congress to deliver NOW or shut down government.

For the Republicans, it’s never EVER the right time to do the right thing. EVER! Trump is looking more and more like same old same old. MUST we have to relive the 2006 when the GOP lost control of the Senate AND the House to educate Trump?

Kicking the can to September has virtually guaranteed that nothing will get done this year because Ryan and McConnell will then be arguing that it isn’t the right time again because 2018 is an election year.

The Stupid Party setting new standards for abject stupidity. There is no bottom to hit. It’s a bottomless abyss. There is no reason to vote for Republicans. There is not “there” there. I’ve never felt better about being an unaffiliated independent.

buckeyeminuteman | May 3, 2017 at 12:01 pm

Trump is wrong to thing that Republicans will always have at least 51 votes and he is right in that we need a good shutdown.

That budget deal is so bad that the Republicans will suffer a wipeout in 2 years.

McConnell says the Senate has a PEOPLE problem. Boy is that TRUE. Now if he just understood that the people problem is:

McConnell
McCain
Graham
Cornyn
Collins

That’s the people problem in the Senate.

Lack of courage, conviction, or offers that they cannot refuse.

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