The Republican-majority Senate, led by Mitch McConnell (R-KY), have just voted on and killed two bills to re-open the federal government. Thursday marks the 34th day of President Donald Trump‘s shutdown of the government, and Friday will mark the second paycheck 800,000 furloughed workers, about half of which are being forced to go to work, will miss.
The first bill, sponsored by Republicans, included President Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion to pay for a portion of his campaign promise, a wall on the Southern border of the U.S. Experts say the wall will not reduce crime, including drug trafficking, in any meaningful way.
The second bill, sponsored by Democrats, funds the government but does not include the President’s $5.7 billion demand.
60 votes were needed for either bill. The GOP-sponsored bill failed by a vote of 50-47. The Democratic-sponsored bill failed by a 52-44 vote. Six Republicans broke with the President on this bill.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused, until now, to allow any bill that could end the shutdown to be voted on unless President Trump specifically supported it.
The House, under Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has sent the Senate over a dozen bills that could also re-open the government, or parts of the government. On Wednesday, for example, Leader McConnell refused to allow a vote on a House bill that would have re-opened the Dept. of Homeland Security.
Last month Leader McConnell and the Senate unanimously, by voice vote, passed a “clean CR,” a continuing resolution with no strings attached that would have kept the government open. As the House was preparing to vote on it, President Trump, egged on by far right wing pundits including Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh, announced he would not sign any legislation that did not include the $5.7 billion he wanted to build the wall he promised Americans for years that Mexico would pay for.
President Trump announced last month he would be happy and proud to own the shutdown.
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