Some things never change.
President Donald Trump continues to plead for the end of the legislative filibuster, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell keeps saying no thanks.
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“As I’ve told him repeatedly, the votes aren’t there to change it,” the Republican leader told POLITICO Playbook’s Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman in the interview Wednesday. “They just aren’t there. It is not only me.”
The president’s latest call to reduce the 60-vote threshold to shepherd through legislation came in a private meeting Tuesday with House and Senate Republicans, with Trump telling lawmakers to change the guidelines before Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) does.
McConnell, however, sees no need.
The Kentucky Republican, who this month took over as longest-serving GOP Senate leader, touted Trump’s presidency as being the best year . 5 for any GOP since he first visited the Senate in 1985 – noting the passage of massive tax cuts and confirmation of any string of conservative judges, including Top court Justice Neil Gorsuch.
“So obama has much being pleased about,” McConnell said. “I don’t think the legislative filibuster, that is around for years, is a dilemma. Also it does, I believe, generate on many occasions a bipartisan solution, we don’t believe that’s always harmful to the land. We perform possess some pretty big differences in regards to a quantity of things, but there are a variety of products carry out together.”
The GOP leader estimated that two-thirds of his caucus would oppose ending the legislative filibuster. And they’d be joined by all Democrats. But also to Republicans lacking the votes, McConnell is bringing the long view, acknowledging the fact that GOP won’t always keep the majority.
“I think each party, having been up and down many times, know the advantages when you find yourself not within the majority,” he stated within the filibuster. “What I remind obama of occasionally after we have this discussion is however for we will have socialized medicine [and] right-to-work would’ve been eliminated across the country.”
In the nearly 45-minute interview, McConnell also acknowledged disagreements between your president and several Senate Republicans on issues including tariffs and immigration.
Republican Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania are pushing an amendment that might allow Congress to approve or disapprove of tariffs levied against countries on national security justifications.
McConnell said it’s unclear whether that measure will come up for debate for the farm bill the chamber is considering.
“I simply are not aware of whether there’s gonna be a vote over the Corker proposal,” McConnell said. “I don’t mind getting the vote, nonetheless have no idea at the beginning of this procedure what’s gonna happen.”
A small selection of of senators also is focusing on legislation to pay migrant family separations with the southern border. The Senate began immigration legislation in February, but is not an individual measure mustered enough votes for passage, such as the White House’s proposal.
“I’m favoring addressing that narrowly and fixing it,” McConnell said with the family separations. “I hear the home may try and pass something along those lines, so if we not able to do comprehensive [immigration reform] – let’s no less than fix many of the glaring problems along at the border when using the children reunification issue and apply it quickly.”
McConnell declined to calculate how either chamber look as soon as the midterms. But he insisted every Republican candidate is electable and highlighted Montana, North Dakota, Missouri, Indiana and West Virginia as competitive states where Senate Republicans have offense; the party is defending competitive seats in Arizona, Nevada and Tennessee, he said.
“But I still am not falling in love with the map or thinking the map alone might deliver this,” McConnell added, speaking about the point that Republicans are merely defending nine seats while Democrats have 24 seats up this season. “Every one of those are going to be a knockdown, drag-out, eye-gouging, shin-kicking contest all the way to the finish.”