Senate considers dueling budget bills
by Harvest Prude
Posted 1/23/19, 11:41 am
WASHINGTON—The Senate is scheduled to vote Thursday on competing measures to reopen the parts of the federal government affected by the partial shutdown, but neither is likely to win enough support to pass. Senators face a choice between President Donald Trump’s proposal that combines $5.7 billion for a wall at the U.S. southern border with some protections for young illegal immigrants and Democrats’ stopgap measure that provides no money for the wall but funds the government through Feb. 8. Both sides need to woo senators from across the aisle to win the necessary 60 votes to pass a budget measure.
Senate leaders are attempting to gauge whether the president’s first forays at a compromise have swayed any Democrats. While the House of Representatives passed several measures to reopen the partially shuttered government, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., so far refused to bring to the floor any measure the president would not sign. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., demanded that lawmakers reopen the government before negotiating further on the wall.
The partial shutdown, now spanning 33 days, is the longest in U.S. history. On Friday, about 800,000 federal workers are due to miss a second paycheck.
Meanwhile, Trump made plans to deliver his State of the Union address next Tuesday, despite Pelosi recommending he wait until the shutdown ends. If he moves forward, Pelosi may formally disinvite him from delivering the speech in the House chamber. The White House has said the president is considering other venue options, including somewhere outside of Washington, D.C.
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Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.