BREAKING: McConnell Announces He Has Votes to Change Filibuster Rules

McConnell Announces He Has Votes to Change Filibuster Rules

Sorry, Chuck Schumer: Looks like the filibuster isn’t going to work for Neil Gorsuch.

According to The Hill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on Tuesday that he was confident he had the votes to change the Senate rules and invoke the “nuclear” option to confirm President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court.

“We’re moving forward with the Gorsuch nomination for the Supreme Court, which should be wrapped up some time Friday,” McConnell told reporters, according to the Washington Examiner.

“It appears as if cloture will not be invoked, but we’ll find out on Thursday. But either way, we’ll be moving to confirming Judge Gorsuch on Friday.”

Reporters then asked McConnell if he had enough votes to get Gorsuch through on the nuclear option, to which he responded, “Uh, yeah.”

McConnell also criticized Sen. Schumer for his decision to filibuster Gorsuch. He noted that even during the controversial confirmation process for Clarence Thomas — who had been accused of sexual harassment by former co-worker Anita Hill — the Democrat-controlled Senate still held a full vote on the nomination.

“The practical effect of all of this is to take us back to where we were before Sen. Schumer convinced the Democrats to start routinely filibuster(ing) judges,” McConnell said, referring to Schumer’s habit of filibustering former President George W. Bush’s federal court nominations.

Other senators seemed similarly confident that Gorsuch would be confirmed via the nuclear option, although few would go on record. South Dakota Republican John Thune was one exception.

“We have the votes to confirm Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court,” Thune said. “The real nuclear option is filibustering a Supreme Court nominee — it’s never been done before, when you think about it. This is unprecedented.”

At least three Democrats have announced they’ll be joining the Republicans in voting for Gorsuch, according to Politico: Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

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H/T The Daily Caller