It might sound straightforward, but in the hyper-partisan environment that is Trump’s Washington, it’s not.
That’s because this week will be about more than just Neil Gorsuch, the mild-mannered conservative judge chosen to replace the late Antonin Scalia. It will be about how the Senate confirms justices to begin with and whether the minority party will maintain its power to throw up procedural roadblocks.
Here’s where things stand.
Last week, the Senate’s top Democrat, Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.), vowed his party will filibuster Gorsuch’s nomination.
Under normal circumstances, Republicans would not be able to overcome a move like that and approve Gorsuch. After all, it takes 60 votes to stop a filibuster, and the GOP has just 55 votes between themselves and friendly moderate Democrats.
So what will Republicans do? In short, they’re likely to change Senate rules to end filibusters on Supreme Court nominations altogether. And eliminating that option for the minority party will dramatically raise the stakes in the next confirmation battle. It’ll be a “bloodbath,” as one Republican senator put it.
WHAT’S NEXT ON HEALTH CARE?
Trump is eager to strike an optimistic note when it comes to health care after his defeat in March. As usual, he took his message to Twitter over the weekend.
“Anybody (especially the Fake News media) who thinks that Repeal & Replace of ObamaCare is dead does not know the love and strength in R Party!” he wrote.
Anybody (especially Fake News media) who thinks that Repeal & Replace of ObamaCare is dead does not know the love and strength in R Party!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 2, 2017
Talks on Repealing and Replacing ObamaCare are, and have been, going on, and will continue until such time as a deal is hopefully struck.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 2, 2017
Talks did continue over the weekend as Trump brought Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a major critic of the GOP’s plan to revise Obamacare, to one of his Virginia properties Sunday for a round of golf.
Still, tensions generally remain high between Trump’s team and conservatives who opposed the plan.
LATER IN THE WEEK — CHINA IN FOCUS
Foreign policy will take center stage Thursday when Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Florida for a summit with Trump. And already, the issue of North Korea is making headlines.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Trump said China must take a harder line against North Korea or the United States will act alone against the reclusive state.
“China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won’t. And if they do that will be very good for China, and if they don’t it won’t be good for anyone,” Trump told the paper.
Xi is scheduled to meet with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach on Thursday and Friday.
A LOOK AT TRUMP WORLD’S FINANCIAL DISCLOSURES
Trump’s circle of advisers at the White House is really, really wealthy.
That might not be news, but now we have hard numbers thanks to financial disclosures released by the White House on Friday.
Together, as our colleagues reported, 27 White House officials had assets worth at least $2.3 billion when they joined the administration.
Some of the wealthiest include Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and daughter Ivanka, who have property and investment holdings worth as much as roughly $740 million.
Follow the author: @eliseviebeck.