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McConnell opposes 'nuclear option' in budget debate

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRon Johnson grinds Senate to halt, irritating many Klain on Harris breaking tie: 'Every time she votes, we win' How to pass legislation in the Senate without eliminating the filibuster 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 State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot Intelligence community investigating links between lawmakers, Capitol rioters Michelle Obama slams 'partisan actions' to 'curtail access to ballot box' 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 SchumerRon Johnson forces reading of 628-page Senate coronavirus relief bill on floor Senate panel splits along party lines on Becerra House Democrats' ambitious agenda set to run into Senate blockade 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.