Donald Trump calls on Mitch McConnell to go nuclear on spending bill

December 21, 2018 GMT

President Trump on Friday urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to pass the new spending bill by any means necessary.

Mitch, use the Nuclear Option and get it done! Our Country is counting on you! Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 21, 2018

Republican Sen. Steve Daines of Montana encouraged his colleagues to take that path Thursday night to avoid a government shutdown.

If Republicans choose to “go nuclear,” they would have to change the Senate’s filibuster rules to lower the threshold of votes needed to pass the spending legislation from 60 to 51.

The nuclear option is typically used for confirming Supreme Court nominees. Mr. McConnell has previously pushed back on those calling on him to kill the filibuster for legislative issues.


On Thursday, Mr. Trump derailed the spending bill that was passed by the Senate Wednesday night when he announced he’d only sign a bill with additional funds for border security.

House Republicans passed their own bill with $5.7 billion border security Thursday night that now heads to the Senate, where the chances of passing are slim.

If neither the House nor Senate spending bills are passed Friday, a partial government shutdown will begin at midnight.

Sen. Chris Coons, Delaware Democrat, said the president’s request will be damaging to the Senate.

“Our founders designed a country that runs best when we work across the aisle and compromise,” Mr. Coons said on CNN. “And the fact that the president is urging Mitch McConnell to tear up the last thing that forces us to compromise in the Senate is not a good sign.”