- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Sen. Pat Toomey called for Republicans to use the nuclear option if Democrats try to block the next spending bill.

“My idea is simple. We go down to the floor. And we move to take up the first appropriation bill. And if that is blocked, if the consideration of the bill is blocked, then we should change the rules so that a simple majority is all it takes to move onto an appropriation bill,” Mr. Toomey, Pennsylvania Republican, said on “The Hugh Hewitt Show.”

Mr. Toomey said once the Senate negotiates spending levels for the next two fiscal years there is “no excuse” to block an appropriations bill from being taken up.

He said if Democrats won’t work with Republicans then extending the so-called “nuclear option” to the appropriations process is acceptable.

He acknowledged that he does not think Republicans would vote to change the rules to allow such a possibility unless or until Democrats actually block an appropriations measure.

Republicans have been hesitant to use the simple majority power, even for judicial appointments, where it has typically been used by both parties in the past. They did use the rule to approve Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch in 2017.

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