Senate

McConnell opposes 'nuclear option' in budget debate

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (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 Trump 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.

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 Schumer (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.

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