Schumer: 'Virtually impossible' to reach deal on Gorsuch

Schumer: 'Virtually impossible' to reach deal on Gorsuch
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSchumer vows to vote on Biden Supreme Court pick with 'all deliberate speed' Voting rights failed in the Senate — where do we go from here? Forced deadline spurs drastic tactic in Congress MORE (D-N.Y.) said Thursday it is "virtually impossible" for Democrats and Republicans to reach an agreement on President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, before the upper chamber casts its votes to end debate.

“I don’t think they’ll be able to come to any kind of agreement,” Schumer told The Washington Post about the two parties striking a deal by next week to avoid a bitter showdown. “It’s virtually impossible.”

Gorsuch would need 60 votes to proceed to a confirmation vote under current Senate rules. With Republicans holding a 52-seat majority, eight Democratic lawmakers would need to vote to end debate for the high court appointee, and only two have announced their support.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSchumer vows to vote on Biden Supreme Court pick with 'all deliberate speed' It's time for 'Uncle Joe' to take off the gloves against Manchin and Sinema Democrats should ignore Senators Manchin and Sinema MORE (R-Ky.) and other Republicans have said they'll vote for Gorsuch regardless of Democratic opposition.

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Republicans are signaling that if Democrats filibuster the judge's confirmation, they are willing to invoke the so-called nuclear option, changing Senate rules to allow them to confirm him with a simple majority.

Schumer expressed concern to the Post that if Republicans use the nuclear option to confirm Gorsuch, the simple-majority vote will become the precedent and not the exception.

“The deal would be, ‘We won’t change the rules on the next one,’ but the nuclear option is always available. So how do you solve that?” Schumer said.

Schumer argued that Gorsuch “did not convince people he was independent and thoughtful and down the middle" during his confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

On Thursday, two Democratic senators serving in states won heavily by Trump — Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampDemocratic ex-senators join pro-gas organization 11 former Democratic senators call for 'meaningful reform to Senate rules' Harry Reid, political pugilist and longtime Senate majority leader, dies MORE (N.D.) and Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOn The Money — No SALT, and maybe no deal The names to know as Biden mulls Breyer's replacement Poll: Sinema approval higher among Arizona Republicans than Democrats MORE (W.Va.) — announced their support for Gorsuch, becoming the first Democrats to back him.

Thirty-four Senate Democrats plan to vote against Trump's Supreme Court nominee, according to The Hill’s Whip List.