Friday, 20 September, 2019

Senate rejects rival Dem, GOP plans for reopening government

US Senate votes down two bills to end government shutdown On Day 34, Senate to vote on competing shutdown bills not expected to pass
Patty Aguilar | 25 January, 2019, 21:18

The Senate voted on two measures on Thursday: Trump's proposal to fund government agencies through September 30 while paying for a wall and also providing some temporary protections for some undocumented immigrants ('Dreamers'), and a Democratic plan to reopen the government through February 8 while border security negotiations continue. But the Democrats' proposal got more votes - 52 compared to 50 - because six Republicans, including two who face challenging re-election battles in 2020, broke ranks to support the Democratic proposal after Trump's proposal failed, a sign of growing discomfort in some quarters of the party.

After the votes, a bipartisan group of 16 senators - eight from each party - took to the chamber's floor to say they want to reopen the government for three weeks to allow time for work on a bipartisan border security deal.

On Thursday, nearly five weeks later, House Democrats continued work on a package that would ignore Trump's demand for $5.7 billion for a wall with Mexico and would instead pay for other ideas aimed at protecting the border.

In another sign of hope, Thursday's vote on the Democratic plan represented movement by McConnell.

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.

They said another punt on spending for two weeks made no sense.

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. "Trump guaranteed everybody that Mexico would pay for the wall".

"Using the figure the president put on the table, if his $5.7 billion is about border security then we see ourselves fulfilling that request, only doing it with what I like to call using a smart wall", Clyburn told reporters.

Ross was asked on CNBC to comment on reports that some of the 800,000 workers now not receiving paychecks are going to homeless shelters to get food.

Earlier Thursday, the Senate rejected two proposals-one by Trump and one by Democrats-intended to reopen the government.

Given their standing in the polls, Democrats appear unified to defy the president, said Jim Kessler.

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The Senate first rejected a Republican plan reopening government through September and giving Mr Trump the 5.7 billion U.S. dollars he's demanded for building segments of that wall, a project that he had long promised Mexico would finance.

U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to deliver remarks on border security and the partial shutdown of the U.S. government in the Diplomatic Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 19, 2019. "But we can't do it with the government shut down".

The Republican bill mirrored the president's proposal from Saturday - a three-year extension to Temporary Protected Status recipients and about 700,000 so-called "Dreamers", undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S.as children and given protected status under DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, in exchange for border wall funding.

"Public opinion polls, I think, are more against the president than against the Democrats", said Fortier.

"A vote for the president's plan is an endorsement of government by extortion", Schumer said.

That could clear the way for a new round of negotiations between Congress and Trump.

Speaking at the White House on Thursday after the Senate blocked his proposed border solution and a competing Democratic plan, the president said that if McConnell and Schumer could come up with a "reasonable agreement", he would support it.

Schumer said Trump's proposal was a "harshly partisan" plan that would give the president all he wants before reopening the government.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called walls immoral and ruled out any discussions, but other top Democrats have at least seemed open to talks.

Trump's proposal faced strong objections from Democrats who oppose the wall and the plan's changes in immigration law including new limits on asylum claims by Central American minors. I know banks are working along, if you have mortgages, the mortgagees, the folks collecting the interest and all of those things, they work along.

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