Republicans maintained control of the U.S. Senate in the recently concluded midterm elections, but Arizona’s Jeff Flake isn’t sticking around for the GOP power trip, having previously declined to seek re-election. However, he’s continuing to struggle for his legacy and the soul of the political movement he claims to be so committed to, insisting this week he would not vote in support of the “nuclear option” to throw out the filibuster in the Senate.
‘The Senate filibuster is about the only mechanism left in Washington that brings the parties together. Deploying the nuclear option would blow that up. I will not vote to do it.’
President Donald Trump had called for the procedural move Friday in a Hail Mary effort to get the $5 billion he wants for his long sought border wall — although it’s not even sure he could get as many Republican votes as he’d need for a simple majority if a full 60 members didn’t have to be on board.
He’s called for the “nuclear option” over stalled budget negotiations multiple times in the past. This Friday night, the federal government is set for a partial shutdown over lack of approved funding that’s been pushed along by Trump’s insistence on provisions for his wall being included in any funding package. During an on-camera fight with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), he insisted he’d be proud to have the government shut down in the name of his wall, although he’s since chickened out of that position and taken to blaming Democrats.
In his world, his will is the immutable divine way or something, and he adamantly refuses to even give room for the idea that he could be even a little off base. That takes him places like insisting the wall was never going to be concrete — although he’s said as much on camera on the past, and redefining the word “wall” doesn’t make his agenda magically come true.
Still, no matter the obstacles in the president’s way set by issues like the oh so pesky reality, Trump keeps going. Just this Friday, he ranted that if Democrats don’t vote for the “DESPERATELY NEEDED” wall, there will be a shutdown for a “very long time.”
He failed to note why the wall is allegedly so desperately needed. Hint: it’s not. His continued claims that the United States is bleeding hundreds of billions of dollars thanks to undocumented immigration are simply false.
Flake has aimed to stand up in his own peculiarly half-hearted way to the president’s agenda already, withholding his support for judicial nominees until the Senate voted on a bill to protect Special Counsel for the Russia investigation Robert Mueller after having literally skipped town and gone overseas and thereby avoided some votes.
He recently successfully stalled the nominations of 22 judges over his demands. The GOP at-large faces another block to their confirmation plans besides Flake, since Democrats haven’t proven keen on accepting nominations packages for lower court judges.
All of this remains on the back burner at present since Friday night, the government will shut down thanks to a lack of approved funding unless something happens fast.
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