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Trump Calls For End Of Senate Filibuster: "8 Dems Control Senate. Crazy!"

Back in April when Senate Republicans implemented the "nuclear option" to confirm Neil Gorsuch with just 51 votes, instead of the typical 60, moderate Republicans like John McCain only reluctantly agreed to using the legislative gimmick saying it was a "slippery slope" on the path to nuking the entire legislative filibuster.  We wrote about the issue in a post entitled "Gorsuch "Nuclear Option" Could "Fundamentally Transform" The Senate Forever."

But several senators are warning that bypassing the Senate's filibuster rules for Gorsuch's vote, a move that Democrats utilized multiple times as well, is a slippery slope that would inevitably lead to calls to eliminate the filibuster for legislation as well so that bills could pass with a simple majority. Such a change would remove the last vestige of the Senate’s long tradition of protecting minority views, turning it into a smaller version of the House and fundamentally transforming the way laws are made.

 

“The thing I worry most about is that we become e like the House of Representatives. What’s the next step? Legislation?” said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

 

“I’m convinced it’s a slippery slope.”

 

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) warned last week on the Senate floor that growing pressure from the right and the left will make it difficult to withstand calls to eliminate the legislative filibuster.

 

“If we continue on the path we’re on right now, the very next time there’s a legislative proposal that one side of the aisle feels is so important they cannot let their base down, the pressure builds, then we’re going to vote the nuclear option on the legislative piece,” he said.

 

“That’s what will happen. Somebody will do it.”

As it turns out, it was indeed only a matter of time until someone called for the "nuclear option on the legislative piece" and that someone turned out to be none other than President Trump himself.  After suffering his latest stinging defeat on his efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare, Trump took to twitter this morning to call for an end to the legislative filibuster.

"The Senate must go to a 51 vote majority instead of current 60 votes. Even parts of full Repeal need 60. 8 Dems control Senate. Crazy!"

The Senate must go to a 51 vote majority instead of current 60 votes. Even parts of full Repeal need 60. 8 Dems control Senate. Crazy!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

 

Of course, in this specific case, ending the filibuster still wouldn't have enabled Republicans to repeal and replace Obamacare since Mitch McConnell didn't even have the required 50 votes from his own party that were needed to pass the legislation.

Meanwhile, we can only imagine the pure chaos that would be created by breaching the legislative filibuster barrier as transformative pieces of partisan legislation would be passed with reckless abandon every 4-8 years as power shifted between parties.  Republicans should be very careful what they wish for...somehow we suspect they won't control all three branches of government in perpetuity.