McConnell opposes 'nuclear option' in budget debate

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden sets new vaccine mandate as COVID-19 cases surge Democrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire 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 TrumpTrump PACs brought in over M for the first half of 2021 Chicago owes Trump M tax refund, state's attorney mounts legal challenge Biden hits resistance from unions on vaccine requirement 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 SchumerSenate infrastructure talks spill over into rare Sunday session Senate holds sleepy Saturday session as negotiators finalize infrastructure deal An August ultimatum: No recess until redistricting reform is done 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.