- Joshua Roberts/Reuters
House Speaker Paul Ryan sided with President Donald Trump and gently nudged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to scrap Senate filibuster rules for legislation.
Fox News host Sean Hannity asked Ryan during an interview Wednesday night if the filibuster was hampering Republicans’ agenda.
“Of course I’d like to see them do majority votes on these things,” Ryan said.
Hannity then asked if Ryan ever talked to McConnell about eliminating the filibuster.
“We’ve talked about it a lot. I don’t think they, they don’t have the votes there for it,” Ryan said. “That’s just the flat, simple answer.”
Democrats can filibuster any legislation that goes through the normal Senate process, since Republicans only control 52 seats. A bill must receive 60 votes to move past a filibuster.
Scrapping the filibuster, known in political circles as the “nuclear option,” would require McConnell to wrangle a majority of senators to vote to suspend the rule. Ryan suggested McConnell does not have enough Republicans on board do that – because if Democrats take back Congress, “liberals will ram through” legislation.
The GOP healthcare bill being moved through the process of budget reconciliation, meaning it only needed a simply majority vote and was not subject to the filibuster. It still failed because of Republican defections.
Trump also reiterated his call for McConnell to send the filibuster in a tweet on Wednesday after the failure of the latest GOP healthcare bill, and in an interview with “Fox & Friends” host Pete Hegseth.
“And I think he has to get rid of the filibuster rule,” Trump said. “I think it’s just a disaster for the Republican Party, because it means you need 60 votes on most pieces of legislation and you’re not going to get it.”
McConnell has batted down Trump’s calls to get rid of the filibuster and is known as a stickler for Senate rules. According to reports, Trump’s frequent tweets on the subject are a significant contributor to the rift between the two men.