McConnell sets up votes on Thursday on competing proposals to reopen government
The Senate will take two key votes on Thursday on competing proposals aimed at ending the ongoing government shutdown — one backed by Republicans and the other backed by Democrats and both likely to fail.
One of the votes will be on a proposal backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to fund President Donald Trump’s border wall and reopen shuttered parts of the government. That legislation is in line with an offer the President proposed over the weekend offering temporary protections for some immigrants in exchange for $5.7 billion for a border wall — and which Democrats swiftly rejected as they hold firm in insisting that the government should be reopened before lawmakers proceed to a debate on border security.
The other vote will be on House-passed legislation backed by Democrats to reopen the government without providing new funding for the wall.
Both proposals are expected to fail at this point because either would need 60 votes to advance.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer explained in remarks on the Senate floor on Tuesday that lawmakers had reached an agreement to hold the votes.
But despite the announcement, there is still no end in sight to the shutdown stalemate on Capitol Hill as Republicans push for the border funding the President has asked for and Democrats continue to reject that proposal as a non-starter.
In an indication that the House-passed measure will not receive enough bipartisan support to advance, McConnell spokesman Don Stewart told CNN on Tuesday that the Senate majority leader is not supporting the House bill that the Senate will vote on Thursday to reopen the government until early February.
Seven Democrats would have to crossover for the GOP bill to pass — Republicans hold 53 Senate seats — and there has been little indication that’s possible.
And 13 Republicans would have to crossover for the Democratic bill to pass, which is also unlikely unless Trump were to reverse course and support the bill.
This story has been updated to include additional developments Tuesday.