Trump Tells GOP to 'Go Nuclear' Over Supreme Court Pick | NBC Southern California
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Trump Tells GOP to 'Go Nuclear' Over Supreme Court Pick

Vice President Mike Pence hopes to avoid 'nuclear option' on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch

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    President Donald Trump says the Senate should "go nuclear" in the fight to get Judge Neil Gorsuch nominated to the Supreme Court. With only 52 GOP Senators and 60 votes needed to nominate Gorsuch, the "nuclear" option would force Gorsuch through by a simple majority vote. (Published Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017)

    President Donald Trump said Wednesday that if political "gridlock" stalls his Supreme Court pick, it may be time for the Senate's Republican leader to consider the option to "go nuclear."

    The so-called nuclear option would mean changing Senate rules to make it impossible to filibuster a high court nominee.

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    The president told reporters that if Senate Democrats try to block Neil Gorsuch's nomination, he would tell Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: "If you can, Mitch, go nuclear, because that would be an absolute shame if a man of this quality was caught up in the web."

    Meanwhile, Gorsuch was accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence as he met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. McConnell called Gorsuch "an outstanding appointment" and said Republicans were "thrilled" to get the confirmation process started.

    Pence predicted that as senators get to know Gorsuch, "they'll come to understand the enthusiasm" Trump has for Gorsuch.

    Pence says in an interview with "PBS NewsHour" that he's hopeful that the Senate will not need to take the so-called "nuclear option" to win approval for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. 

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    Pence was asked if McConnell might have to resort to changing Senate rules to make it impossible to filibuster the Supreme Court nominee.

    Pence says he's hopeful McConnell won't, and is pointing to the first-term nominees of former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. He says those nominees received "broad bipartisan support" and were considered in about 60 to 70 days.