Bills to re-open government fail in US Senate, temporary solution eyed

Two competing measures to end the partial U.S. government shutdown have fallen short in the Senate as politicians explore an option to end a month-long impasse with the White House and fund government operations for three weeks while talks continue. It earned 50 votes to 47 against, but it needed 60 to advance.

Afterward, a bipartisan group of lawmakers said they were introducing an amendment in the Senate to temporarily reopen the roughly one-quarter of the federal government affected by the longest shutdown in US history.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said a temporary measure to reopen shuttered government departments and agencies must have "a large down payment on the wall".

On Thursday evening, the Senate plans to vote on the three-week CR, Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen (MD) said Thursday.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who effectively controls the chamber, had told him she wanted him to reschedule for some date after the government was reopened. "But he needs to have some commitment that they are going to get this resolved so it's not just a short-term opening and where we're right back where we are now".

They are expected to miss their second bi-monthly paycheck tomorrow, and many are now relying on relied on loans, credit card debt, and selling their possessions to get by.

The proposal included no additional money for border security or any other government function.

But Pelosi, "in no uncertain terms, told the president and his staff that she would not accept that, and that the House was committed to going ahead with a tough bill even if it meant a very tough fight, and even if it meant that some members were going to be put in political jeopardy", said Lawrence.

U.S. President Donald Trump gestures talks tariffs in the cabinet room of the White House Thursday.

Trump said he'd plan an event elsewhere and called Pelosi's move "a great blotch on the country" that showed she didn't want "the truth" about border security.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans a vote on a Democratic proposal to fund the government for three weeks but does not include the wall funding that Trump wants.

The action marked the first time that the Senate has voted this year on reopening the government.

Sen. Angus King, a Maine independent who caucuses with Senate Democrats, said: "He is basically saying, 'Give me what I want - or give me part of what I want - or I'll shut the government down.'". This legislation ultimately failed in the Senate by a vote of 52-44.

"Some Democrats suggested they would even be willing to meet Trump's request for $5.7 billion - as long as it goes for technology and other improvements, not the physical wall the president is seeking", thePostnoted, pointing to remarks by Clyburn and other top Democrats. Democrats said the president and his team are out of touch about the impact on American workers. This bill had not yet gone through the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives.

A bipartisan group of senators proposed a three-week spending plan created to buy time for congressional negotiations over border security spending.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that House Democrats are not working behind the scenes to craft a counteroffer to President Trump's border wall demands as a strategy for ending the history-making partial shutdown.

Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson of MS said he expects it to call for more than US$5.7 billion in spending on technology, personnel and other aspects of security. In a plan the rejected Senate GOP plan mirrored, Trump on Saturday proposed to reopen government if he got his wall money.

Trump's proposal, however, also would change asylum laws in ways that immigration advocates say will limit the number of asylum seekers allowed into the country each year. "We will not Cave!" he said in a tweet.

Schumer, D-N.Y., called on Senate Republicans to abandon Trump despite his sway with conservative voters, saying, "I know that President Trump has some power in these Republican primaries, but sometimes you have to rise to the occasion".

  • Leroy Wright