Mitch McConnell told Chuck Todd this Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Neil Gorsuch will be confirmed this week. Todd attempted to get into a debate about the “up or down vote” but McConnell was steadfast and explained that it was the Democrats that changed the rules.
CHUCK TODD:I understand that. But I go back to we’re about to go on a situation where there’s going to be this extra level of filibuster. And let me ask you about that. Do you have the votes to change the rules among Republicans? Do you have all 52 Republicans ready to stand behind you, that if the Democrats filibuster Neil Gorsuch, you have the votes to change the rules?
SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL:Yeah, what I can tell you is that Neil Gorsuch will be confirmed this week. How that happens really depends on our Democratic friends, how many of them are willing to oppose cloture on a partisan basis to kill a Supreme Court nominee, never happened before in history, the whole history of the country.In fact, filibustering judges at all is a rather recent phenomenon, started by your next guest, Senator Schumer, after George Bush 43 got elected president. We didn’t used to do this. Clarence Thomas was confirmed 52 to 48, the most controversial Supreme Court nominee in history. And not a single senator said, “He has to get 60 votes.”
CHUCK TODD:You’re somebody though that was very concerned when this rule was changed by Harry Reid for judges below Supreme Court. Do you– If you regret what Harry Reid did, why continue down this slippery slope?
SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL:Well, I think breaking the rules of the Senate to change the rules of the Senate, which is what was done in 2013, was terrible for the Senate. But when we came to the majority a year and a half later, we discussed this about whether or not to restore the old system. And we decided not to do it because the custom, even though it was always possible to filibuster judges, the custom down to 2000 was not to do it.In other words, the Senate restrained itself and gave every Supreme Court nominee an up or down vote, down to 2000. So this recent invention of this level of controversy we decided was best left alone by just leaving us where we were after that.
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