President Trump on Tuesday reiterated his call for the Senate to end the legislative filibuster so he could pass his tax reform and healthcare initiatives.
“The U.S. Senate should switch to 51 votes, immediately, and get Healthcare and TAX CUTS approved, fast and easy. Dems would do it, no doubt!” Trump tweeted.
The U.S. Senate should switch to 51 votes, immediately, and get Healthcare and TAX CUTS approved, fast and easy. Dems would do it, no doubt!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2017
In 2013, then-Majority Leader Harry Reid did just that, eroding the power of the filibuster.
The Washington Post reported at that November:
Senate Democrats took the dramatic step Thursday of eliminating filibusters for most nominations by presidents, a power play they said was necessary to fix a broken system but one that Republicans said will only rupture it further.
Democrats used a rare parliamentary move to change the rules so that federal judicial nominees and executive-office appointments can advance to confirmation votes by a simple majority of senators, rather than the 60-vote supermajority that has been the standard for nearly four decades.
The immediate rationale for the move was to allow the confirmation of three picks by President Obama to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit — the most recent examples of what Democrats have long considered unreasonably partisan obstruction by Republicans.
In the long term, the rule change represents a substantial power shift in a chamber that for more than two centuries has prided itself on affording more rights to the minority party than any other legislative body in the world. Now, a president whose party holds the majority in the Senate is virtually assured of having his nominees approved, with far less opportunity for political obstruction.
Senate Republicans used the so-called “nuclear option,” ending the 60-vote threshold, in order to confirm Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. That move represented the end of the filibuster for judicial nominations; Senate Democrats used the same tactic in order to speed up confirmation of former President Barack Obama’s judicial nominations during the previous administration.
The most recent whip count on healthcare shows the American Health Care Act does not have 51 votes in the Senate, as at least two Republicans, Sen. Susan Collins and Sen Bill Cassidy, are already leaning against the bill. Senate Republicans are writing their own healthcare bill.
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Alex D is a conservative journalist, who covers all issues of importance for conservatives. He brings attention and insight from what happens in the White House to the streets of American towns, because it all has an impact on our future, and the country left for our children. Exposing the truth is his ultimate goal, mixed with wit where it’s appropriate, and feels that journalism shouldn’t be censored. Join him & let’s spread the good word!