President Donald Trump started Friday with a series of tweets on one of his most frequent topics of criticism: the legislative filibuster.
The president once again attacked Republicans for failing to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and implored the Senate to scrap the legislative filibuster to be able to pass more legislation.
“Republicans, sorry, but I’ve been hearing about Repeal & Replace for 7 years, didn’t happen!” Trump tweeted. “Even worse, the Senate Filibuster Rule will never allow the Republicans to pass even great legislation. 8 Dems control – will rarely get 60 (vs. 51) votes. It is a Repub Death Wish!”
To avoid a filibuster, which allows Democrats to hold the floor and block legislation from advancing in the chamber, Republicans need 60 votes. There are currently 52 GOP senators.
The filibuster did not apply to the effort in the Senate to pass an Obamacare replacement, since it was being moved through the process known as budget reconciliation, which means a bill only needs a simple majority to pass. Despite needing only 50 votes, the bill still failed with three Republican defections.
Trump also said Republicans need to begin work on their tax reform overhaul immediately.
“Republicans must start the Tax Reform/Tax Cut legislation ASAP,” said Trump. “Don’t wait until the end of September. Needed now more than ever. Hurry!”
Trump’s team has repeatedly said they have been working with Republican leaders since the election in November on tax reform and that the process is well on its way. Recently, administration officials have said they turned formal legislative drafting efforts over to the relevant committees in Congress. During a speech in North Dakota on Wednesday, Trump promised more details within “two weeks.”
The president’s tweets come two days after Trump bucked Republican leaders and cut a deal with Democrats to suspend the debt ceiling for just three months. GOP leaders Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and Kevin McCarthy all favoured a longer extension during the Oval Office meeting, but Trump sided with Democrats Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi and agreed to a shorter suspension.
One of the factors that has contributed to the fractured relationship between Trump and McConnell has been Trump’s flaunting of Senate procedure, including his tweets on the legislative filibuster.
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