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U.S. Senator: ‘End the filibuster’ to ensure passage of border wall funding

Now that the House has agreed to POTUS Donald Trump’s demand for border wall funding and passed new spending legislation containing $5.7 billion in construction funds, a U.S. senator is urging Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to dump the long-standing filibuster rule so the bill can pass with a simple majority.

“House just passed a bill that fully funds government and enables @realDonaldTrump to secure our border/build the wall,” tweeted Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont. “Senate can do same by eliminating the filibuster. 51 votes, same as we do for judges!”

The Senate is expected to take up a bill Friday; Democrats have already said they would filibuster it.

So far, GOP leaders have been unwilling to change the filibuster rule — which is just that, a rule; it’s not a constitutional requirement, and as such, it can be changed.

Democrats, when they held the Senate majority, changed it in 2013 so the GOP minority could not filibuster President Obama’s judicial nominees.

In 2017 Republicans changed the rule for Supreme Court nominees.

If McConnell refuses to do so now, the spending bill the House passed on Thursday would need 60 votes to advance, where then it could pass with a 51-vote majority.

Republicans have been fearful of changing the rule thus far because if they lose control of the upper chamber in 2020, they know Democrats will use their new majority to do the same thing.

But as Democrats proved in 2013, they’re always willing to do whatever it takes to wield power, so chances are very good if they become the new majority in two years they’ll ditch the rule anyway — especially if a Democrat becomes president. — Jon Dougherty

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