WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Senate Democrats say if Republicans push President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee through the confirmation process, everything is on the table. Most Democrats have been vague, however, about what policies are really being considered, leaving Republican Senators to speculate.
“We’ve heard threats…And what’s [Sen. Chuck Schumer] threatening to do? Add members to the Supreme Court,” said Republican Senator John Barrasso. “These threats have been going on for a long period of time.”
He says if Democrats win back a majority in the Senate, they would make significant changes to American institutions.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Democrats will also change the dynamic of the Senate itself.
“They’re going to get rid of the filibuster. They’re going to make D.C. a state, Puerto Rico a state.”
By making Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico states, Senate Democrats would likely add Senators to their ranks. Getting rid of the filibuster would mean only a simple majority, 51 Senate votes, would be required to approve bills.
While McConnell says Democrats will attempt to make both of these changes, Senate Democrats haven’t explicitly said they would.
“Well look, I think there’s going to be lots of debates in 2021 about steps that the Senate should take,” said Senator Bob Casey, Democrat from Pennsylvania, when NewsNation asked what “everything is on the table” means in realistic terms.
Casey said at the moment, Democrats are preoccupied with a new Supreme Court, with an additional Trump nominee striking down the Affordable Care Act. He says that’s an immediate threat to millions who rely on it, because Republicans don’t have an alternative to replace the ACA.
“They’re tried that and that kind of plan doesn’t exist I don’t think,” said Casey.
“It means everything’s on the table,” said Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren when NewsNation asked her the same question.
When pressed on adding justices to the Supreme Court or ending the filibuster, Warren said Democrats are focused on a broader goal.
“Right now what we’re talking about is doing everything we can to stop the Republicans from stealing another seat and giving the American people plenty of time to get in this fight.”