After Another Failed Repeal Attempt, Trump Again Pushes To Nuke Filibuster

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., right, looks on as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Congressional leaders and administration officials on tax reform, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/AP

After the Senate failed yet again on Tuesday to repeal Obamacare, President Donald Trump early Wednesday morning turned to his go-to solution for the Senate’s stalemates: nuking the filibuster.

As the Senate struggled to find consensus on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare over the summer, Trump on several occasions urged Senate leaders to completely eliminate the filibuster, which allows the minority party to force a 60-vote threshold on legislation. Senate Republicans have been using a process called reconciliation to circumvent the filibuster on health care, but their authority to do so expires at the end of this month, leaving them unable to try to repeal Obamacare again any time soon.

Ending the filibuster would not likely solve Senate Republicans’ problem on health care. They have failed to earn the support of 50 Republican senators for any repeal bill they have tried to pass this year. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has also shot down Trump’s suggestion, noting that there is not enough support in the Senate to change the rules.

In another tweet Wednesday morning, Trump insisted that Republicans are close to the 50 votes they need to pass a repeal bill, despite the fact that three senators firmly stated they could not back the Graham-Cassidy legislation.

He also suggested that Republicans did not vote on the bill because one senator was in the hospital.

It was not entirely clear to whom Trump was referring, though he was likely talking about Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS). Cochran was away from Washington, D.C. for medical reasons early this week, but he was not in the hospital, the senator’s office told Politico reporter Seung Min Kim.