U.S. Senate rejects two rival bills, shutdown continues - watsupptoday.com
U.S. Senate rejects two rival bills, shutdown continues
Posted 25 Jan 2019 01:56 PM

Competing proposals to reopen the federal government each garnered majority support in the Senate on Thursday afternoon, but both failed to secure the necessary 60 votes to break an impasse that has dragged on for more than a month and cut off pay for 800,000 public employees.

The votes were technically procedural in nature, to end debate and move to final passage on both measures. But their twin defeat sent the same sobering message: More than a month of shuttered federal agencies and a mounting financial toll on well over 1 million employees and contractors have not been enough to forge consensus or a compromise in the Republican-led Senate. Bills passed by the Democratic majority in the House to reopen the government have gone nowhere. President Donald Trump has not relented in his demand for money for a border wall, and Republicans, frustrated though they are by the president and by alarming poll numbers, have stood by him.

The failure seemed to inject a new sense of desperation into what has been a stagnant situation. Soon after the votes, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell huddled with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in his office, and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told reporters that he had spoken with Trump about a three-week spending bill to temporarily end the shutdown. Schumer, however, was tight-lipped: “We’re talking,” the Democrat, grinning ear to ear, repeated seven times to inquiring reporters as he left McConnell’s office.

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