Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has told Fox News' "The First 100 Days" Tuesday that the GOP's use of the so-called "nuclear option" to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch is their response to the Democrats' "breaking the rules of the Senate" in 2013.
"For 230 years, up or down, simple majority [required] for Supreme Court, Cabinet, everything until [Senate Minority Leader Chuck] Schumer invented this, so it’s a fairly recent thing to filibuster executive branch appointments," McConnell told host Dana Perino. "All we’ll do faced with this filibuster is even that up so the Supreme Court confirmation process is dealt with just like it was throughout the history of the country."
McConnell also told Perino that that Senate was "going to confirm Judge Gorsuch on Friday. Exactly how that occurs, I guess, will depend upon our Democratic friends."
Earlier Tuesday, McConnell filed for cloture to end debate on the Gorsuch nomination. He is expected Thursday to enact a rules change eliminating the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees and lowering the vote threshold for confirmation from 60 to 51.
McConnell told Perino Tuesday night that Senate Democrats appear to be "pretty locked in" on their promise to filibuster Gorsuch.
"I think they’re responding to their base, which says ‘Resist everything.’ It’s particularly ridiculous to watch it on Gorsuch because there are no good arguments to vote against Gorsuch. None whatsoever."
McConnell also said Tuesday that he had asked the Senate intelligence committee to investigate reports that former national security adviser Susan Rice ordered the unmasking of Trump transition officials under surveillance.
"Anything related to Susan Rice or any of these other suggestions will be handled by the intelligence committee," McConnell said, "and we look forward to receiving their report."