Trump: Senate Republicans ‘look like fools’ if they don’t dump 60-vote rule

President Trump took to Twitter early Saturday morning to blast Senate rules requiring 60 votes to defeat a filibuster, versus a simple majority of the 100-member governing body. (Photo: Carlos Barria/Reuters)

President Trump railed against Senate rules requiring a 60-vote majority to pass legislation in the Senate in a series of tweets early Saturday morning, saying that the rule is “killing the R party” and “allows 8 Dems to control the country.”

He blasted Republican senators in his latest appeal for an end to the three-fifths majority filibuster rule, calling it “outdated” and stating that lawmakers in his party who were unable to get the votes to repeal President Obama’s Affordable Care Act this week “look like fools and are just wasting time.”






Under current rules, 60 votes are required to end debate on legislation in the Senate. Modifying the rules to allow a filibuster to be defeated with a 51-vote majority would prevent Senate Democrats from filibustering in future legislative fights, as the GOP currently holds a majority.

However, many senators themselves are resistant to modifying their chamber’s rules. In April, a bipartisan group of 61 senators led by Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Chris Coons, D-Del., signed a letter urging their leadership to preserve the 60-vote majority.

“Senators have expressed a variety of opinions about the appropriateness of limiting debate when we are considering judicial and executive branch nominations,” the letter states. “Regardless of our past disagreements on that issue, we are united in our determination to preserve the ability of Members to engage in extended debate when bills are on the Senate floor.”

Trump’s complaints about the Senate rules come one day after Senate Republicans failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, a key tenet of GOP campaign promises for the past seven years. The various GOP efforts to pass a partial health care proposal to replace Obama’s plan — dubbed the “skinny repeal” — were formatted as budget reconciliations, which require only a simple 51-vote majority to pass.

Vice President Mike Pence cast the deciding vote on the Senate floor Tuesday on a measure to start debate on dismantling much of Obamacare. (Photo: C-SPAN2 via AP)

Despite this, with the defections of Collins, Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and John McCain, R-Ariz., from the 52-member Republican caucus, the health care legislation would not have passed even with Trump’s proposed rule change.

Saturday’s Twitter outburst was not the first time the president has railed against the filibuster rule. In May and earlier in July he took to the platform to urge senators to change the rules.

“The U.S. Senate should switch to 51 votes, immediately,” he tweeted May 30, “and get Healthcare and TAX CUTS approved, fast and easy. Dems would do it, no doubt!”


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