Senate Plans Votes To End Shutdown Showdown

Donald Trump

Modal Trigger Donald Trump AFP Getty Images

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.

After 35 days, the USA partial government shutdown has concluded temporarily after President Trump and congressional leaders agreed to fund the affected agencies for three weeks while negotiations on a permanent solution continue.

"Let's get government open, give us some time, and then we are committed to working together to come up with a bipartisan proposal for border security", said Democratic Senator Ben Cardin. "If we don't get a fair deal from Congress the government will shut down again or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and afforded to me under the Constitution of the United States to address this emergency".

A growing number of lawmakers of both parties have said compromise is the only way to end the political stalemate and reopen the government.

Providing a slight hope for compromise, bipartisan groups of lawmakers have convened private mee- tings in the House and Senate to try to find a way out of the partial shutdown that began December 22.

Trump has long said that any short-term deal to end the shutdown must include a large down-payment for a border wall - an idea Pelosi and Schumer immediately rejected. He is, of course, referring to declaring a national emergency, a move many standing in opposition would deem extreme. A shortage of air traffic controllers - who have had to work without pay during the shutdown - delayed flights at several major airports on the East Coast Friday morning. "In my letter, I've suggested a timeline, and I'm moving forward with some other colleagues who share the same views".

President Trump has dug himself into quite a hole with the ongoing government shutdown, and the effects are beginning to show themselves in his polling numbers.

U.S. lawmakers and the White House were under intense pressure to resolve the impasse, as hundreds of thousands of federal workers headed into a second month without paychecks, and the political stalemate began to disrupt some of the nation's busiest airports. Others began seeking new jobs.

"What we're trying to say is we need to return to regular order, we need to open the government, we need to take these issues to committee, we need to analyse them in a facts-based way", said Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., the lawmaker who has taken the lead on drafting the letter.

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Neither proposal achieved the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster, but the Democratic plan did better, getting 52 to the Trump plan's 50 votes.

"We really have no choice but to build a powerful wall or steel barrier", he said.

Trump had refused to sign any spending bills that didn't include $5.7 billion for the border security wall.

"I think we have a good chance" of reaching an agreement, Trump said.

The Senate also rejected a Democratic spending bill, which has passed the House 231-180.

US President Donald Trump has backed down on his demands for $5.7 billion (£4,362,808,500) to build his wall in exchange for ending the government shutdown.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow of MI, a member of Senate Democratic leadership, said giving in to Trump would mean that the White House would use a shutdown to get whatever it wanted next time.

For weeks, he'd let President Trump and Democrats try reaching an accord and, until Thursday, had barred any votes on legislation President Trump would not sign.

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