Senate rules change

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The Senate rules change, also called the "nuclear option," would eliminate the filibuster in the U.S. Senate for confirming nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court. Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell has promised to do this if, as expected, the Democrats successfully filibuster nominee Neil Gorsuch in early April 2017.

Republicans need 50 votes to accomplish the rules change, assuming Vice-President Mike Pence breaks the tie in favor of changing the rules. This means the Republicans lose no more than two Republicans on this issue. Doubtful Republican votes with respect to changing the rules include:

A total of three "no" votes, or two "no" votes and an absence, from the following would block the rules change:

Most likely to vote "no" on rules change

  • Susan Collins of Maine (member of prior "Gang of 14" that averted a rules change) - indicated earlier that she opposed a rules change
  • Dean Heller of Nevada, up for reelection in a state won easily by Hillary Clinton
  • Lisa Murkowski of Alaska (voted with Collins in defying GOP leadership on confirmation of Betsy DeVos)

Possibly "no" on rules change

  • John McCain of Arizona (member of prior "gang of 14" that averted a rules change) - indicates he will reluctantly vote for the rules change
  • Orrin Hatch of Utah
  • Jeff Flake of Arizona - faces difficult reelection in 2018
  • Lamar Alexander of Tennessee
  • Bob Corker of Tennessee - has a tendency to vote against Trump

Outside possibility of "no" or absence

Caved in

  • Lindsey Graham of South Carolina - likes to side with the globalists
  • Rand Paul of Kentucky - supports ending the filibuster for the Supreme Court despite using it himself with respect to legislation

(add to list)

See also