McConnell opposes 'nuclear option' in budget debate

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Kavanaugh accuser set to testify Thursday McConnell told Trump criticism of Kavanaugh accuser isn't helpful: report 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 John TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser 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 SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump, GOP regain edge in Kavanaugh battle READ: President Trump’s exclusive interview with Hill.TV The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump slams Sessions in exclusive Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh accuser wants FBI investigation 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.