President Trump upped the pressure again on Senate Republicans to change the chamber's rules to help his agenda, suggesting Friday that GOP lawmakers are letting a handful of Democrats "control the Senate."
“If Senate Republicans don’t get rid of the Filibuster Rule and go to a 51% majority, few bills will be passed. 8 Dems control the Senate!” Trump tweeted.
The president repeatedly has pressed Senate GOP leaders to change the rules so controversial legislation can pass with a simple majority, as opposed to 60 votes.
The president’s tweet comes amid a feud with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The tension began when McConnell criticized the president for having “excessive expectations” about the legislative process, after Congress failed to deliver the votes on a plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare ahead of their August recess. Trump said he was “very disappointed in Mitch,” and reportedly had a “profane shouting match” over the phone on August 9.
Both the White House and McConnell have publicly attempted to ease the tensions to portray unity between the GOP leader and the president.
McConnell is likely reluctant to pursue a change in the filibuster rules for legislation, mindful that the move could hurt his own party whenever Democrats are in control. Further, it's unclear whether the rule change would help Trump pass health care legislation, as the last bill to fail was not subject to the 60-vote standard.
Minutes after his first tweet of the day, the president also went on to praise his new chief of staff, former Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, who took his post in the White House last month amid a White House staff shake-up. Trump slammed the “Fake News” for not portraying the “spirit” in the White House accurately.
“General John Kelly is doing a fantastic job as Chief of Staff. There is tremendous spirit and talent in the W.H. Don’t believe the Fake News,” Trump tweeted.
The president tweeted again, moments later, touting his administration’s accomplishments in its first seven months in office.
“Few, if any, Administrations have done more in just 7 months than the Trump A. Bills passed, regulations killed, border, military, ISIS, SC!,” Trump said.
The president's tweet comes days after he unveiled his administration's new Afghanistan strategy. The White House will also send guidelines to the Pentagon regarding the president's policy to reinstate the ban on transgenders in the military, directing Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis to enact the ban within six months.
In terms of regulations, according to an analysis by American Action Forum reviewing the president's first six months in office, a total of 27 regulations have been withdrawn so far this year, which is slightly lower than the 41 rules that were approved.
The president also met with Border Patrol officials in Arizona this week and has warned Congress that he could let the federal government shut down if they do not approve funding for one of his key campaign promises -- the border wall.
Nevertheless, the administration has yet to see a major legislative win.