There are some in the House GOP Tea Party brigade that want Mitch McConnell to end the filibuster completely in order to take Senate Democrats out of the equation for the next two years, starting with the Republican bill to defund President Obama's immigration actions.
A growing number of House GOP conservatives are pressuring Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday to invoke the "nuclear option" and change the chamber's rules to pass a bill defunding President Obama's executive actions on immigration.
Reps. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) and Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) said McConnell should change Senate rules, so the House-passed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding bill, which includes language to revoke Obama's immigration-related actions, can bypass a Democratic filibuster in the upper chamber.
Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) also endorsed the idea at a Thursday news conference. He said there’s a “way to change the rules to allow us to move forward” and “take away the ability to filibuster.”
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) was the first House Republican to advocate such a rules change Wednesday evening, arguing that now-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had established a precedent during his time in the majority.
But Senate Republicans don't see the point with Obama sure to veto the bill anyway, and they know that only holding the upper chamber with a four-seat lead means the Dems will someday be back in charge.
“The answer is not to change Senate rules,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said during the same news conference at which Mulvaney spoke. "The answer is for Senate Democrat not to be obstructionists.”
“I don’t think that’s an option we’re looking at right now,” freshman Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) added, arguing that things should move forward according to current Senate rules.
However the House Tea Party is getting pissed. They see Obama winning and they want to change the game somehow. Never mind that it's the Senate GOP who has to do the work here.
Labrador suggested Senate Republicans should just "pack up" and go home if they "don't want to fight" on the DHS funding issue.
"If they don't want to fight, if they don't want to work, if they don't want to do the hard work that is necessary to do the will of the American people, then maybe they just need to pack up, and they need to decide that for the next two years, we're just not going to do anything in the Senate," Labrador said.
Otherwise, Labrador argued, Senate Republicans might as well hand the majority back over to the Democrats.
"If we're going to allow seven Democratic senators to decide what the agenda is of the House Republican conference, of the Senate Republican majority, then we might as well just give them the chairmanships, give them the leadership of the Senate," he asserted.
Why, this doesn't look like a united front to me. It looks like Republicans are in charge of a branch of Congress with approval ratings in the teens, and they are now 100% responsible for the mess.
Be careful what you wish for, folks.