Trump Wants To Blow Up Senate Rules After Obamacare Repeal Push Collapses

President Donald Trump speaks during an energy roundtable with tribal, state, and local leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Wednesday, June 28, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/AP
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After the Senate’s latest effort to repeal Obamacare sputtered out early Friday morning, blocking President Donald Trump from finally notching a legislative victory, the President suggested nuking the Senate rules.

Republicans control the Senate with a slim majority of 52 senators, and on most legislation, Democrats can force a 60-vote threshold, making it challenging for leaders to pass a purely partisan bill. For that reason, Senate leaders used the reconciliation process, which only requires a 51-vote majority, to craft their Obamacare repeal legislation. Even that strategy ran into some hurdles when the Senate parliamentarian ruled that certain key provisions in the Better Care Reconciliation Act could not be included in a reconciliation bill.

So with the Senate parliamentarian nixing provisions and GOP leaders unable to garner enough support for the bill anyway, the Senate turned to the bare-bones “skinny repeal,” which also went up in flames.

In response, Trump turned to his typical devices, calling for a major change in strategy in order for him to score one legislative victory. This is not the first time he’s called for a big change to Senate rules: He urged the GOP to nuke the legislative filibuster in the Senate twice before, once in early May and once in late May.

However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said he will not blow up the legislative filibuster, although he was willing to remove the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees earlier this year.

Earlier Friday morning, Trump suggested that Republicans just let Obamacare “implode” before eventually crafting a replacement. This is another strategy that Trump has turned to when Congress struggles on health care.

Yet, in his speech following the failed vote Friday morning, McConnell suggested Democrats come forward with their ideas next.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.
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