In the Senate, Republicans and some Democrats are pressing President Donald Trump to order the use of a nuclear option if a Supreme Court nominee is to be confirmed.GOP lawmakers and Democrats are urging the president to use a nuclear approach if a nominee is chosen to the high court.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, has also asked Trump to appoint a replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
“I am urging you to use the nuclear option,” Alexander said during a closed-door meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.
Trump, however, has said he would consider other means to confirm the nominee, including a filibuster.
Democrats have called on Trump to withdraw from the Senate if he does not get the vote of 60 votes.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The push to confirm a nominee who is considered the next conservative justice comes after Democrats failed to win a filibuster in the Senate last year.
A Supreme Court vacancy, however could become even more important after the next vacancy occurs in 2019.
In recent weeks, several senators have raised the prospect of a filibuster or two if Trump were to fail to get 60 votes in the next Congress.
“We have to be very careful with the Senate,” said Sen. John Barrasso (R.-Wyo.), one of the Senate’s most liberal senators.
“You cannot be a rubber stamp.”
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said the Senate should be debating the nomination of a new judge and asked why Trump did not use a procedural tool that would force the Senate to confirm Scalia’s replacement.
“There is a reason that he chose to do it this way,” Blumenthal said.
“He wants to keep his options open.”
Trump has not yet indicated if he will try to use that mechanism to force a vote on the Supreme Court nomination.
If he does, Republicans will need a simple majority to break a tie.