Trump Orders McConnell To ‘Go Nuclear’ To Get The Wall

Photo credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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President Donald Trump instructed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to use the nuclear option to end the filibuster and pass funding for the border wall, in a Friday morning tweet.

Trump’s tweet came moments after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Fox News explicitly that the White House wants the Senate to end the filibuster.

“The Senate has a constitutional duty and a constitutional authority to actually protect our country. We can’t be a sovereign country if we don’t have borders and we don’t have protection of the American citizens,” Sanders declared.

Trump’s tweet is the latest in a series he sent Friday morning urging the Senate to pass a bill which cleared the House of Representatives Thursday night, and fully provides 5 billion dollars for his proposed wall along the U.S. southern border. (Related: Trump Moves Towards Shutdown Over Wall Funding) 

This option was originally thought to be untenable in the Senate because it could not garner the necessary 60 votes. All legislation that passes the upper chamber of Congress must have 60 votes of support in order to clear a filibuster-proof majority. The Senate, however, reserves the ability to remake its own rules and end the historical filibuster.

Men from Mexico climb the US-Mexico border wall in Playas de Tijuana, northwestern Mexico, November 18, 2018. – The Central American migrant caravan trekking toward the United States converged on the US-Mexican border Thursday after more than a month on the road, undeterred by President Donald Trump’s deployment of thousands of American troops near the border. (Photo by Guillermo Arias / AFP)

Trump’s instruction for McConnell may, however, fall on deaf ears with the senate leader promising in 2017 that he would never end the filibuster in order to advance legislation.

“There’s not a single senator in the majority who thinks we ought to change the legislative filibuster,” McConnell declared in 2017. “Not one.”