President Donald Trump suggested on Twitter Sunday morning that Republicans should consider triggering the so-called "nuclear option" as a government shutdown stalemate goes into its second day.
After chastising Democrats for "holding the military hostage over their desire to have unchecked illegal immigration," Trump tweeted that Republicans, fed up with Democratic feet-dragging, should consider voting to end the Senate filibuster option, changing the number of votes needed to pass a budget from the 60-vote "supermajority" to a 51-vote "simple majority."
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
The so-called nuclear option is on the table, but Republicans are understandably reticent to use an option that could come back to haunt them if the Democrats manage to retake only two additional seats in the Senate, and flip the body to Democratic, simple majority control.
According to Bloomberg, Congress is holding an "unusual Sunday session" in an effort to work out a deal that keeps the government funded and reverses the partial shutdown that began Saturday at 12:01 a.m. before most government aides return to work on Monday morning. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has threatened to keep Congress in session until at least 1 a.m. Monday morning if a deal is possible.
Moderate Republicans and Democrats met on Saturday, trying to come up with a plan that would be palatable to both Democratic leadership and the White House. That plan, they say, will keep the government funded through February 8, and would keep CHIP, the children's health care program, funded for the next six years, but would omit any reference to immigration reform.
That team of negotiators says that the bill would pass only on the promise that congressional leaders take up the issue of DACA and border security before the end of January.
That group, though, includes Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), whose mere presence on a committee might make the White House think twice about backing any compromise bill. White House officials have said that they will not consider a separate immigration bill unless a spending bill is passed first.