President Trump is calling on the Senate today to end filibusters preventing legislation to pass with a simple majority as a means of helping his agenda get through Congress.Much of what the president wants to accomplish involves massive improvements to the economy, including tax cuts and a repeal and replacement of much of Obamacare.
Trump put the exclamation point on his statement by noting that the Democrats would most certainly take similar action if they had control of Congress.According to The Hill:
“The U.S. Senate should switch to 51 votes, immediately, and get Healthcare and TAX CUTS approved, fast and easy. Dems would do it, no doubt!” Trump tweeted. In fact, the GOP can pass healthcare bills and tax reform with a 51-vote majority if Republicans can reach agreements among themselves.
The U.S. Senate should switch to 51 votes, immediately, and get Healthcare and TAX CUTS approved, fast and easy. Dems would do it, no doubt!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2017
Trump called earlier this month for the end of the filibuster, which essentially requires 60 votes for a bill to pass the Senate.
“The reason for the plan negotiated between the Republicans and Democrats is that we need 60 votes in the Senate which are not there! We either elect more Republican Senators in 2018 or change the rules now to 51%. Our country needs a good ‘shutdown’ in September to fix mess!” he wrote at the time.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) shot down Trump’s call at the time, saying “that will not happen.”
Senate Republicans are planning to pass an Obamacare repeal bill and tax reform using reconciliation, a process that requires only 51 votes to pass budget-related measures. As a result, they would not need any Democratic votes to pass either.
Adding to the difficulty in getting the president’s agenda passed is how divided the GOP remains over both healthcare and tax reforms, with many unsatisfied with Trump’s initial efforts to fix Obamacare, believing it doesn’t go far enough to get rid of the monstrosity, and implement free market solutions.Some in the Senate have stated their intention to craft their own healthcare bills and attempt to get them passed rather than put time and effort into Trump’s.
One thing’s for sure: the Senate has a limited amount of time to get things done, and right now, it seems as if they’re blowing a fine opportunity to get much accomplished by sitting around twiddling their thumbs instead of finding common ground and working to change things around.
Let’s hope things shift course soon.
[Note: This article was written by Michael Cantrell]