Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that GOP leaders are taking a new approach to dealing with President Donald Trump, after Trump and Democratic leader Chuck Schumer repeatedly attacked each other on Twitter.
McConnell, who said Tuesday he expects Trump to return to the Senate on Thursday, told reporters that he is “working on a rule that we’ll use, and it’s a new one that we’re going to use.
It will be used as a tool for dealing and as a way to deal with this president.”
But he said that he would not make the rule public until after he and Schumer meet with Trump, as the president has repeatedly threatened to shut down the government over his insistence that he has the authority to shut it down if Congress does not agree to his demands.
“It is my intention to use it, and I am not going to make it public,” McConnell said.
“We have not gotten to that point yet.
We are going to get there, and we will do it.”
McConnell said that if Trump wants to shut the government down, he can call a vote on the budget resolution to shut that down.
He also said that the GOP caucus is working on a plan to make sure that no president can unilaterally shut down government operations.
The Republican leader said that, despite his assurances, he is worried about the impact that shutdowns will have on American workers, particularly those in manufacturing and agriculture, and he said he is not concerned that the party will lose the majority in the Senate.
“I’m worried about that because I think we’re headed for an election in 2020.
I think it’s very, very possible that the Republicans will lose control of the Senate, and so I think you’ll see the Republicans looking for ways to keep the government open, and that’s what we’re working on,” McConnell added.
The Trump administration, however, was not satisfied with McConnell’s assurances, saying that it would not be giving up the ability to shut government operations without Congress’ approval.
“There is no such thing as a shutdown without a Senate vote, and there will be no such motion to suspend the legislative process without a House vote,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters.
“President Trump’s tweet that he doesn’t have the authority and he has no right to shut off the government without a vote from Congress is a total lie.
Congress is the governing body, and any attempt to shut us down without the support of Congress is totally unconstitutional.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has repeatedly accused President Donald J. Trump of forcing his party to shut its doors in an effort to obstruct his agenda.
Trump said Tuesday evening that he had the authority not to do so.
Schumer said Tuesday afternoon that he does not believe Trump will be able to force his party’s hands.