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McConnell opposes 'nuclear option' in budget debate

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden leans on Obama-era appointees on climate Kentucky Republican committee rejects resolution urging McConnell to condemn Trump impeachment Calls grow for 9/11-style panel to probe Capitol attack MORE (R-Ky.) on Sunday expressed opposition to using the “nuclear option” to allow the Senate to pass a long-term budget with 51 votes.

“The Republican Conference opposes changing the rules on legislation,” a spokesman for McConnell said. 

President TrumpDonald TrumpNYT: Rep. Perry played role in alleged Trump plan to oust acting AG Arizona GOP censures top state Republicans McCain, Flake and Ducey Biden and UK prime minister discuss NATO, multilateralism during call MORE earlier Sunday suggested Republicans should deploy the tactic if the Senate is unable to come to an agreement to fund the government.

Doing so would allow the party, which holds 51 seats in the Senate, to pass legislation without a single Democratic vote.

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The issue came up on the second day of a partial government shutdown. Each party has steadfastly blamed the other for the ongoing shutdown.

Republicans have labeled it the “Schumer Shutdown,” in reference to Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerCapitol insurrection fallout: A PATRIOT Act 2.0? Schumer calls for DOJ watchdog to probe alleged Trump effort to oust acting AG Student loan forgiveness would be windfall for dentists, doctors and lawyers MORE (D-N.Y.), while Democrats have pointed to Trump and Republicans, who have majorities in both chambers of Congress.

Republicans might not have enough votes to pass a funding bill along strict party lines. Four Republicans voted against the legislation on Friday night. Five Democrats voted for it.