Trump wants Senate to make things 'fast and easy' for him

While the Republicans in the Senate have vowed to write their own "repeal and replace" healthcare bill, as opposed to taking up what their House colleagues sent over, Trump has made it clear he believes House version is a "great" proposal and given it his full endorsement.

His request for a 51-vote majority would end the current 60-vote threshold on bills, allowing the Republican majority to advance any legislation without being impeded by the Democratic minority.

Trump's tweet raised some eyebrows, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has repeatedly sworn not to touch the filibuster for legislation.

The president's priorities - tax reform, healthcare, building a wall - have become stalled in Congress as numerous investigations are under way into Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election and whether any Trump campaign associated colluded with them. We either elect more Republican Senators in 2018 or change the rules now to 51%.

As per local media reports, Senate Republicans are planning to pass an ObamaCare repeal bill and tax reform using reconciliation, a process that requires only 51 votes to pass budget-related measures.

They were following in the footsteps of then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who triggered what's called the "nuclear option" in 2013, reworking the Senate rules so that 60 votes wouldn't be needed for the majority President Obama's nominees.

The Senate, however, has invoked the so-called "nuclear option" in the past to get certain nominations - most recently of note Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch - through the Senate by a simple majority vote, but there is now no method for doing so with legislation.

Thursday's vote marks the next step toward House and Senate Republicans passing a final budget before July 1.

Mr. Trump's tweets have kept his allies and opponents off balance during policy fights. Democrats, who complained the plan fails to meet the needs of the state's most vulnerable residents, unsuccessfully offered amendments to boost funding for mental health care, higher education and other programs.

House Republicans passed a measure May 4 axing major parts of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, including hundreds of billions in extra Medicaid money that 31 states now receive for expanding to cover more lower-income Americans under the federal insurance program.

The big difference is the dollar figure.

Grassley stressed that the Senate is not working off the House bill, which he said "doesn't do anything for the 70,000 Iowans that probably in a month won't be able to go to the exchange and buy any insurance".

That means the party can lose no more than two GOP votes, assuming no support from Democrats.

House spokesman Jared Hunt said Wednesday that Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, is not commenting on the latest Justice proposal, pending an opportunity to go over the details of the plan with the House Republican caucus and get feedback from its members.

  • Zachary Reyes