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By Kevin Daley
President Donald Trump told Sean Hannity on Fox News Channel that he is prepared to ask Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to move for cloture, or the 60-vote threshold required to confirm a Supreme Court nominee.
The 60-vote requirement for nominees to the federal bench was eliminated in 2013 when Democrats controlled “world’s greatest deliberative body” and it still applies against Supreme Court nominees now that Republicans control a majority.
“I would,” the president said, when asked if he would eliminate the threshold. “We have obstructionists. Other people are delayed, look at Pompeo for CIA. That is a great choice. Everybody agrees.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not yet publicly taken a position on the matter. Earlier this month, McConnell told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday that he expects Trump’s nominee will solicit more than 60 votes.
“I think the short answer is, the nominee will be confirmed,” he said. He also argued Republicans have been generally accommodating of nominees under Democratic presidents. (RELATED: Senators Meet With Trump On SCOTUS Pick)
“I think it’s noteworthy to look at how the Republican minority handled Bill Clinton the first — in his first administration,” he said. “Both — both of his first two nominees, Ginsburg and Breyer, no filibuster. Obama, in his first term, to go, no filibuster. We think our nominee ought to be treated the same way.”
He made no reference to his successful campaign to block Judge Merrick Garland’s appointment to the Supreme Court in the waning days of the Obama administration.
Trump indicated that he has settled on a candidate. “That’s subject to change at the last moment,” he added. “But I think this will be a great choice.”
The full interview with Hannity will air on Thursday night.