Great to see how hard Republicans are fighting for our Military and Safety at the Border. The Dems just want illegal immigrants to pour into our nation unchecked. If stalemate continues, Republicans should go to 51% (Nuclear Option) and vote on real, long term budget, no C.R.’s!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 21, 2018
What is the Nuclear Option?
The nuclear option (or constitutional option) is a parliamentary procedure that allows the United States Senate to override a rule – notably the 60-vote rule to close debate – by a simple majority of 51 votes, rather than the two-thirds supermajority normally required to amend the rules. The option is invoked when the majority leader raises a point of order that only a simple majority is needed to close debate on certain matters. The presiding officer denies the point of order based on Senate rules, but the ruling of the chair is then appealed and overturned by majority vote, establishing new precedent.
This procedure effectively allows the Senate to decide any issue by simple majority vote, regardless of existing procedural rules such as Rule XXII which requires the consent of 60 senators (out of 100) to end a filibuster for legislation, and 67 for amending a Senate rule. The term “nuclear option” is an analogy to nuclear weapons being the most extreme option in warfare.
The nuclear option has only been used in practice twice. In November 2013, Senate Democrats used the nuclear option to eliminate the 60-vote rule on executive branch nominations and federal judicial appointments other than those to the Supreme Court. In April 2017, Senate Republicans used the nuclear option to eliminate the exception for Supreme Court nominees, after the nomination of Neil Gorsuch failed to meet the requirement of 60 votes for ending the debate.
The threat to use it dates back at least to 1917, in opinions related to reform of the Senate’s filibuster rules. Subsequently, an opinion written by Vice President Richard Nixon in 1957 concluded that the U.S. Constitution grants the presiding officer the authority to override existing Senate rules. The option was used to make further rule changes in 1975.
As of January 2018, a three-fifths majority vote is still required to end debates on legislation.
Even if one is prone to give the benefit of the doubt, Donald J Trump’s first year as President of the United States has been 24/7/365 chaos. The Grand Old Party is renamed “The Greedy Oligarchy Party” in 2018 as they march us towards totalitarianism.
Totalitarianism – a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible.
As of this writing, the federal government has been shutdown for 33 hours (and counting) with Washington DC embroiled in a high-stakes game of brinkmanship. The Republican-controlled House & Senate did not pass the budget for 2018 by October 1st of last year as required by the Constitution. Funding the government is a primary duty of Congress.