Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has called on Republicans in the House of Representatives to accept a clean funding bill for DHS and Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Majority Leader, responded by calling on Senate Republicans to exercise the “nuclear option,” a practice which he condemned when Reid used it.
“I don’t think going nuclear when you have 57 percent of the Senate voted for the Collins amendment that would take away the president’s action,” McCarthy said on Meet the Press on Sunday.
“That’s not nuclear, when 57 percent of the American representation says it’s wrong. That’s not in the Constitution, he said defending his position. “I think they should change the rules.”
In 2013 Senate rules were changed to take the filibuster out of play in the confirmation process for executive and judicial appointees after the then Republican minority repeatedly used it to block confirmation of judges and other needed officials appointed by President Obama.
At the time the rule allowing the filibuster to block or hold up legislation was left intact but now McCarthy is calling for the complete elimination of its use.
“We have a difference of opinion in strategy and tactics, but in principle we are united,” McCarthy said, dismissing a suggestion that the far right TEA Party faction of the party was out of step with mainstream Republicans who are more willing to accept a clean bill. “We are united in the principle there’s a right way and wrong way to legislate. Unfortunately, the president chose the wrong way.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is resisting the call to invoke the “nuclear option” which would get the House bill through the Senate with the measure blocking the president’s Executive Orders on immigration. He realizes that doing so would do nothing except to make a point which the entire country is already aware of — Congressional Republicans do not like the president’s actions on immigration. The bill would make it to the president’s desk only to face a veto which neither house has the votes to override.
For his part McConnell has expressed a reluctance to make such a drastic change to Senate rules to send bills to the president which will only be vetoed. Without a larger majority the move would be merely symbolic.
h/t: Huffington Post