World Bulletin / News Desk
President Donald Trump instructed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday to "go nuclear" if his pick for the Supreme Court is blocked in the Senate.
"If we end up with that gridlock I would say, ‘If you can, Mitch, go nuclear,’” Trump said likely referring to a rule change to reduce the number of votes needed to advance a Supreme Court nominee from the current threshold of 60 to a simple majority.
"That would be an absolute shame if a man of this quality was put up to that neglect. I would say it’s up to Mitch, but I would say, ‘Go for it,'" Trump added, referring to his pick, federal circuit court judge Neil Gorsuch.
Republicans hold a narrow 52-seat majority in the Senate, and would have to gather support from eight lawmakers across the aisle to outmaneuver a filibuster under the current rules. That appears unlikely for now with Democrats rallying in opposition to Gorsuch after Republicans refused to hold a hearing for President Barack Obama's nominee, chief judge Merrick Garland, for nearly a year following the death of associate justice Antonin Scalia.
However, if Trump's party is able to lower the threshold to 51 votes, they could easily push through a Trump nominee.
So far, McConnell has not endorsed the "nuclear option", so called because it would break with decades of precedent.
Whether the procedural change is made or not, the Senate is set for a bitter showdown less than two weeks into Trump's administration.Last Mod: 01 Şubat 2017, 21:46