Lawrence O’Donnell has the perfect way to make sure that Republicans take all the blame for the government shutdown, and it involves waving the 60 vote rule and forcing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to vote on keeping the government open with just Republican votes.
O’Donnell said, “I’ve been wondering about that myself, and I’ve been wondering about whether the Democrats and Chuck Schumer should drop any 60-vote threshold and watch this go to a vote on the Senate floor and see if it fails on the majority vote.”
The risk for Democrats in O’Donnell’s plan is that Republicans would pass the short-term CR and keep the government open on their own, but a CR for a few days or a month doesn’t solve the problem. Democrats wouldn’t lose their leverage, and they would get a six-year extension of CHIP without doing anything. The upside of what O’Donnell wondered about is that if the vote failed, Republicans would lose their only talking point blaming Democrats for the shutdown.
The upside might be worth the small risk, but it looks like Schumer and the Democrats are going to let the Republicans hold their vote with the 60 vote threshold in place. Democrats have all the leverage. Whether they win this showdown on Friday or in two weeks, they are going to win; the only unknown is how long it will take Republicans to cave.
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