The Republicans and Democrats senate clashed over President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick, with no signs that a potentially damaging showdown will be averted.
The Democrats insisted they have the necessary votes to defeat his nomination through use of a filibuster to get Neil Gorsuch rejection. since Sixty votes are needed to overcome a filibuster in the 100-seat in Senate. Republicans currently hold 52 Senate seat while Democrats have 48 members The vote to end an all-but-certain filibuster is due Thursday, with a confirmation vote set for Friday, after which Congress heads home for a two-week recess.
Should Gorsuch not gather the needed 60 votes, Republican leaders are ready to employ the “nuclear option,” changing Senate rules in order to advance the nomination — and all subsequent Supreme Court nominees — by a simple majority vote.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned that the Democrats’ filibuster threat could do something “truly detrimental to this body and to our country.” Democrats, he criticized on the Senate floor, were “hurtling toward the abyss this time, and trying to take the Senate with them. They need to reconsider.”
The Republican Senator John Thune said of Democratic colleagues. McConnell will need to put the rules change to a majority vote. He said he has enough votes from his party for the change to succeed, but some Republicans have bristled.
Senator John McCain fumed to reporters that whoever thought it was a good idea to blow up the longstanding Senate rules “is a stupid idiot.” Democrat Richard Blumenthal warned that the nuclear option will only lead to fewer consensus Supreme Court nominees and more far-right or far-left justices.
Blumenthal said. But there were no apparent signs of a deal to avoid the filibuster, or the nuclear option.
Top Democrat Chuck Schumer pointed to McConnell’s refusal to hold hearings or a vote on then-president Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, who had been tapped to replace Scalia.