How President Donald Trump destroyed the Republican Senate majority on Friday, in a surprise, bipartisan, and stunning decision that made the GOP’s “consensus” the GOP leadership’s.
And the GOP-controlled Senate could hardly have done it without the help of a few rogue members.
A Republican House member named Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, who had voted against Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, had been added to the list of people with a “no confidence” rating in the chamber.
This is a “major development” in the Senate’s “sickening” obstructionism, Huelsampks chief of staff, Joe Kline, told reporters.
The news made headlines and led to a sharp rebuke from the president.
On Twitter, Trump called the House GOP’s move “very sad” and urged GOP leaders to “stop lying.”
A day earlier, the president had called Huelsamps “a good friend” and a “good member of Congress.”
The House GOP had voted to remove Huelskamps “no-confidence” rating from the GOP majority, a move that was widely seen as a way to weaken the GOP.
Huelsack’s removal was the latest in a series of Senate Republicans who had refused to vote for Trump’s nominees, and it underscored just how quickly the Senate has been devolving into gridlock and gridlock-induced chaos.
And it underscoured just how important it was for the Republican leadership to make a “consistent, principled decision” in this highly partisan year.
The Republican leadership’s decision to remove the “no” rating was the culmination of a year in which Republicans had repeatedly threatened to use the Senate filibuster to stop all or parts of any Obama nominees, including Trump’s choice to replace Antonin Scalia.
“Consistent, noble, principled,” the president tweeted on June 15.
That night, Trump had called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer “dumb as a rock” for having voted against him.
“What you did today was just wrong,” Trump said in a phone call with McConnell.
The next day, Senate Republicans voted to put HuelsKampas “noconfidence” ratings on the floor of the Senate.
The result: On the eve of the June 20 inauguration, the Senate passed a bill that stripped the Senate of its ability to change or eliminate a Senate majority.
And then on the same day, Huelkamp’s no-confidence rating was removed from the Republican majority.
It was the first major GOP Senate action against Trump since he took office.
The White House was thrilled with Huelsmbachs removal, but it was unclear whether it was an attempt to intimidate the Democrat, or to get Huelskeas name removed from a list of possible nominees.
As the days passed, Democrats were still debating whether they should be using the filibuster to block the Senate from confirming Trump’s picks.
Democrats were hoping to move on from Huelsks removal as a move to force Trump to consider a nominee from the other side of the aisle.
Trump’s allies in the White House, meanwhile, were still hoping that Trump would choose a nominee he was not on the fence about, such as Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, a liberal judge with deep judicial experience.
They also were worried that Republicans would have to hold the Senate hostage to secure his support for their preferred nominees.
And they were worried Trump would be reluctant to let the Senate proceed with the president’s nominees without using the “nuclear option,” which would have required Senate Democrats to use up 60 votes to block any nominee.
Trump was “not going to do that,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in an interview with The New York Times on June 23.
“He would say, ‘This is too bad.
You have to use all of the 60 votes.
The Senate’s Republicans had not planned on doing anything illegal, but they had decided to try to put out fires in the house by removing Huels’ rating from their majority. “
The next morning, Trump tweeted: “Democrats, in their endless, stupid, dishonest and disgraceful obstructionism,” he wrote.
The Senate’s Republicans had not planned on doing anything illegal, but they had decided to try to put out fires in the house by removing Huels’ rating from their majority.
“Unless he is NOW going to HELP me get Gorsuch confirmed! “
The Democrats will NEVER let me get along with Mitch McConnell, who has given me DOUBLE DOUBLES, and I will be in a LOT worse shape,” Trump tweeted.
“Unless he is NOW going to HELP me get Gorsuch confirmed!
Dems will NEVER allow that!”
On Friday morning, Huals’ ratings had been removed from both sides of the House floor.
And on Monday, Huelson’s rating was also removed from Republicans’ majority.
“I think that was a significant step forward, and that’s very sad,” Huels said.
“But I think that it’s a sign that the Republicans have really started to realize that the