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Trump tweets: government shutdown, border wall funding, nuclear option



President Donald Trump urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to get rid of the legislative filibuster, a move known as the “nuclear option,” to avoid a government shutdown prospect that was created by the president.

“Mitch, use the Nuclear Option and get it done! Our Country is counting on you!” Trump tweeted.

The message was part of a Twitter tirade from Trump on Friday focusing on the government funding fight. Trump has pushed the federal government to the brink of a shutdown over demands for $5 billion in funding for his long-promised wall along the US-Mexico border.

“Senator Mitch McConnell should fight for the Wall and Border Security as hard as he fought for anything,” Trump tweeted. “He will need Democrat votes, but as shown in the House, good things happen. If enough Dems don’t vote, it will be a Democrat Shutdown! House Republicans were great yesterday!”

Read more: Trump is abruptly threatening to veto the spending bill and force a government shutdown over the border wall»

While Trump attempted to pin the blame on Democrats for not agreeing to the wall funding, the shutdown appears imminent only after Trump flip-flopped on his support for a short-term funding extension through February 8. The clean, short-term funding bill — known as a continuing resolution, or CR — passed the Senate on Wednesday.

But after pushback from conservative pundits like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh, as well as members of the hardline House Freedom Caucus, Trump suddenly decided not to sign the Senate’s CR on Thursday. The about-face led to a mad scramble among GOP lawmakers. Eventually, a CR passed in the House that includes $5.7 billion for border security.

Trump applauded the move via Twitter on Thursday night.

“Thank you to our GREAT Republican Members of Congress for your VOTE to fund Border Security and the Wall,” Trump said. “The final numbers were 217-185 and many have said that the enthusiasm was greater than they have ever seen before. So proud of you all.”

But the House’s CR has no chance of passing the Senate, since the bill would need the support of nine Democratic senators to avoid a filibuster. Any bill with less than 60 votes can be subject to a filibuster.

Given these seemingly insurmountable odds, Trump urged McConnell to get rid of the legislative filibuster — a move known as the “nuclear option.”

Trump has repeatedly called on McConnell to employ the “nuclear option” in the past, but the majority leader has resisted and shot it down every time. Getting rid of the filibuster would result in a more volatile chamber and destroy the last concrete rule that forces bipartisan agreement.

But some GOP senators appeared to be cracking under Trump’s pressure. Sen. Steve Daines of Montana agreed with Trump’s call for the “nuclear option.”

“House just passed a bill that fully funds government and enables @realDonaldTrump to secure our border/build the wall,” Daines tweeted Thursday. “Senate can do same by eliminating the filibuster. 51 votes, same as we do for judges!”

The elimination of the filibuster for judicial appointments, carried out by Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, was a highly controversial move. Many consider the move a mistake in retrospect.

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