Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellThe Memo: Winners and losers from the battle over healthcare GOP senators pitch alternatives after House pulls ObamaCare repeal bill Under pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support MORE (R-Ky.) warned Democrats on Thursday that they’d regret using the “nuclear option.”
“You’ll regret this and you may regret this a lot sooner than you think,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) threatened to use the “nuclear option” to overturn the vote with a simple-majority. Reid said it was necessary because Republican obstruction had prevented the Senate from legislating. McConnell said Reid would be “breaking the rules to change the rules.”
Reid has threatened to use the nuclear option several times this year. But each time lawmakers gathered to discuss alternatives. At the beginning of the year Republicans vowed not to filibuster any of President Obama’s nominees unless there were “extraordinary circumstances” but Democrats say the GOP has reneged on that promise.
“This rules change charade has gone from a biannual threat to a annual threat to a quarterly threat,” McConnell said. “How many times have we been threatened? … We’re not interested in having a gun put to our heads any longer.”