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Audio: Listen to NPR Journalist Ron Elving Explain How the Filibuster Has Changed Under President Trump

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Listen to everything you didn't know about the filibuster on Vurbl. In this slip, NPR senior correspondent Ron Elving explains how filibustering nominations has changed under President Trump.
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Listen to everything you didn't know about the filibuster on Vurbl. In this slip, NPR senior correspondent Ron Elving explains how filibustering nominations has changed under President Trump.
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a few years ago in 2013 Democrats when they were in the majority. So frustrated at the inability to get any of President Obama's appointments confirmed changed the rules so that nominations could be approved with a simple majority. No more filibusters on nominations but left it in place. Kept the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations, just the Supreme Court that then held for a few years until this guy got elected president and nominated this guy to be his Supreme Court nominee and knew he could not get 60 votes for Neil Gorsuch. Well, as a result, the new majority leader of a Republican, Mitch McConnell, who had been in that job for a couple of years, said, We are going to approve Neil Gorsuch come hell or high water and change the rules so that even a Supreme Court nomination would be approvable with just a simple majority. No more filibusters. So even though he had one, Donald Trump was frustrated at the idea that the rules had had to be changed and was looking forward to some other things coming down the road and went on Twitter and said, Either we've got to get 60 senators who are Republicans and loyal to me, or I have to get a change in the rules so that things could be approved with just 51%. He like that better thought maybe it was time for the filibuster to dock. But don't hold your breath because Mitch McConnell, who accommodated the president with respect to the Neil Gorsuch nomination, changed the rules on that one immediately said, No, no, no, Mr President, on legislation, we need to have the filibuster and immediately a letter was written by the Senate, with more than 60% of the senators signing on that supported Mitch McConnell and said, Essentially, no to President Trump. That may be the last word one would assume. On the other hand, President Trump has proven to be quite adept at using pressure on the House of Representatives and so far on the Senate with respect to a number of other issues, it may be difficult for the Senate to continue to say no to the president regarding the rules and the filibuster. If a filibuster holds up the health bill, the president's tax reform, the president's wall with Mexico or any of a number of other issues where the Democrats have plenty of votes to prevail. If if they can filibuster, and if the Republicans can't get enough Democrats to join them to get 60 votes invoked, closure and end that filibuster, this could be the deciding factor in whether the trump agenda gets enacted or dies.
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