WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump urged Republican senators on Sunday to force a simple-majority vote to end the partial federal government shutdown, a situation for which he again blamed Democratic lawmakers.
“Great to see how hard Republicans are fighting for our Military and Safety at the Border. The Dems just want illegal immigrants to pour into our nation unchecked,” said Trump on Twitter.
“If stalemate continues, Republicans should go to 51% (Nuclear Option) and vote on real, long term budget, no C.R.’s!” added the president, referring to “continuing resolutions,” which merely provide stopgap operating funds for a limited period.
The “nuclear option,” if implemented by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, would change Senate rules to require just a simple majority of 51 votes – instead of the present 60 votes – to approve a budget bill.
That could endanger the minority party’s ability to delay or block votes whether for approval of bills, judicial or routine nominations or other matters.
It was the Democrats themselves who approved the use of the nuclear option in 2013 when they had a Senate majority to halt the Republicans’ “unprecedented” obstructionism.
Last Friday, the Senate failed to approve the budget bill necessary to finance the government, thus causing a partial and open-ended government shutdown due to lack of funding.
The Democrats conditioned their support for the Trump/GOP budget bill on regularizing the immigration situation of some 800,000 so-called Dreamers, young undocumented migrants brought to this country as children but now facing deportation beginning on March 5, after Trump cancelled the program shielding them from that possibility.