Senate panel moving ahead with Mueller bill despite McConnell opposition

McConnell says he will not allow vote on bill protecting Mueller from firing

He continued: "I'm the one who decides what we take to the floor", he said.

Despite the move, McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, the two top Republicans in Congress, have both expressed scepticism over whether such protective measures are necessary.

"The Senate Intelligence Committee is engaged in an investigation about potential Russian collusion in the election", he said.

Republicans who have talked to the White House nearly uniformly have held the line that Trump will not fire Mueller or Rosenstein - including Tillis and Graham, who say they are pushing the legislation because it would be good policy under any president.

"There's no indication that Mueller's going to be fired", McConnell said on "Your World with Neil Cavuto" on Tuesday.

The bills were originally inspired by hints last summer that President Donald Trump might dismiss Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replace him with someone who might force Mueller to end his probe of alleged ties between Trump's inner circle and Russian officials. "And we will not be having this on the floor of the senate".

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But with McConnell flexing his powers to block the bill from receiving a full vote on the floor of the Senate, those efforts are all but dead.

He continued: "I'm focused on making sure we get to a mark-up on the Judiciary Committee next Thursday and that we're in a place for it to get passed the Judiciary Committee".

Trump has called the measure a "ridiculous situation" and said he only signed it into law to bolster defense spending.

"While I'm glad the majority leader believes the president would be wrong to fire Special Counsel Mueller, it's a mistake not to pass legislation to protect the investigation", Schumer said in a statement.

In May 2017, shortly after Mueller's appointment and following then-FBI director James Comey's firing. Hours after the raid - which happened as a result of a criminal referral from Mueller - Trump responded by calling it "an attack on our country, in a true sense", and admitted he was considering firing Mueller. For months, Grassley had refused to weigh in on legislation to protect a special counsel from being fired without cause, insisting that the committee would consider only one such bill, if it took up any at all.

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