McConnell: We're not getting rid of legislative filibuster

McConnell: We're not getting rid of legislative filibuster
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSupreme Court comes to Trump's aid on immigration GOP group's ad calls on Graham to push for election security: 'Are you still trying?' Harris keeps up 'little dude' attack on Trump after debate MORE (R-Ky.) reiterated Tuesday that Republicans will not gut the 60-vote legislative filibuster despite public pressure from President Trump.

"There are not the votes in the Senate, as I've said repeatedly to the president and to all of you, to change the rules of the Senate," McConnell told reporters during a weekly leadership press conference. 

McConnell's comments are the first time he's publicly weighed in on the fate of the legislative filibuster since the president launched a new wave of pressure tactics for GOP senators to nix the hurdle, which requires Democratic support for most legislation.

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump doubled down on his call to get rid of the 60-vote procedural threshold for most legislation after Republicans failed to pass the "skinny" ObamaCare repeal bill.

But such a change wouldn't have helped the healthcare bill, which needed only a simple majority for passage but still fell short. 

"The votes are simply not there. But the good news is the top two priorities of the president don't require anything more than an simple majority," McConnell added on Tuesday. 

Republicans are using "reconciliation" for both healthcare and tax reform. The fast-track process will allow the GOP to try to pass the bills with a simple majority, without needing Democratic support. 

Senators in both parties have long been opposed to getting rid of the legislative filibuster, and McConnell publicly shut down a similar proposal from Trump earlier this year. 

After Republicans went "nuclear" to get rid of the 60-vote hurdle for Supreme Court nominations, 61 senators quickly sent a letter to McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall Pelosi: 'People are dying' because McConnell won't bring up gun legislation MORE (D-N.Y.) supporting keeping the requirement for legislation.