McConnell tells Trump: No. I'm not going nuclear. 'Let me explain to you how we make laws.'
President Donald Trump has been publicly and privately demanding that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell invoke the 'nuclear option' in the Senate, which would allow a simple majority below 60 votes to pass funding for Trump's border wall.
McConnell's response: No.
McConnell not only told the president that, but he also said it again on the Senate floor. While still saying that Republicans are going to try and get $5 billion and is voicing support for that, he also said that the process will require 60 votes. He isn't budging from the norm. McConnell isn't going to throw the Senate into chaos, not for this president.
"It's really simple Mr. President. It will need the support of 60 senators, which will obviously need a number of Democrats." He went on to say: "That's how we make a law in this situation."
He then reiterated his words like he was explaining it to a child:
"60 votes in the Senate, majority in the House, and Trump's signature. That's what is needed."
Trump is pushing hard for this, too. He knows that getting 60 votes is a virtual uncertainty as negotiations currently stand and that blasting the Senate's rules is the only way he will be able to get his way.
At least one Republican senator has gone on record in favor of it, but that's it.
Right now, the Senate has adjourned for the Christmas break, so unless Republicans and Democrats can come up with some kind of deal to satisfy Trump, this shutdown could last for awhile.
One possibility could see Trump taking far less than the $5 billion he requested, but Senator Lindsey Graham doesn't see Trump taking less than $1.6 billion. He claims that would destroy the conservative movement.