Some frustrated conservatives in the House of Representatives want Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to ditch parliamentary rules that require 60 votes to bring a bill to the floor for debate and a vote.
“I think it’s an archaic rule that prevents us from passing legislation,” said Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, on Thursday.
Senate Democrats used the so-called “nuclear option” in 2013 to change the filibuster rules so that presidential nominations could pass with a simple majority. But that change applied only to votes on presidential appointees.
Now in the minority, Democrats have resorted to filibuster rules to stall a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security because they object to language in the bill that would reverse President Barack Obama’s executive actions to grant temporary legal status to 4 million immigrants who are in the U.S. without documentation.
Democrats insist they want the House to send the Senate a “clean” funding bill, without the controversial provisions on immigration.
But Republicans say Obama’s unilateral actions on immigration were unconstitutional.
Labrador and other like-minded conservatives in the House argue Obama’s overreach just underscore why McConnell needs to change the rules of Senate pass the DHS funding bill.
“I don’t think Mitch McConnell should let the Senate rules trump the Constitution,” said Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan.
“If the Senate is willing to ban filibusters for presidential appointments, surely the Senate should ban filibusters that protect illegal and unconstitutional conduct,” said Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Al.
Congress must pass a funding bill for DHS by Feb. 27, the date when the current budget runs out, or the department will at least partially shut down.