WASHINGTON — As the Senate gears up to consider President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer predicted Sunday that "it looks like Gorsuch will not reach the 60-vote margin" needed to overcome a filibuster.
If the 60 votes aren't there, Schumer argued during an appearance on "Meet The Press," President Trump should gather with Senate Democrats and Republicans to "try to get a mainstream nominee."
Any senator could object or keep talking to delay a vote — a filibuster. So to overcome a filibuster, the Senate needs to scrap together 60 votes for cloture, which allows the Senate to schedule a vote on the nominee.
If there aren't 60 votes, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could use the "nuclear option," changing Senate rules so only 51 votes would be necessary to confirm the nominee.
Asked on Sunday's "Meet The Press" about whether he has enough votes to change the rules for a filibuster, McConnell said, "What I can tell you is Neil Gorsuch will be confirmed this week ... how that happens will depend on our Democratic friends."
Despite any potential rule changes for Supreme Court nominees, McConnell added, "I don't think the legislative filibuster is in danger."