McConnell blocks Dems 3rd attempt to bypass Trump and pass bill to end shutdown—without the wall

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 12: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks during a news briefing after the Republican weekly policy luncheon July 12, 2016 at the Capitol in Washington, DC. Senate GOPs held a weekly policy luncheon to discuss the Republican agenda. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell held firm Thursday against yet another attempt by his Democrat colleagues to prematurely end the ongoing government shutdown without first resolving any of the underlying border security issues at play.

“Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) tried to get consent [from McConnell] to take up a House-passed bill that would reopen all agencies except the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which is at the center of the shutdown fight,” The Hill reported. “But McConnell objected.”

Watch what happened below:


The Hill notes that this marked the third time in only two weeks that the Senate majority leader had stood firm against Democrat attempts to prematurely end the ongoing government shutdown.

The second attempt reportedly happened Tuesday, when he blocked both a House bill that would’ve reopened the entire government except for the Department of Homeland Security and an add-on bill that would’ve reopened DHS as well but only through Feb. 8.

“The solution to this is a negotiation between the one person in the country who can sign something into law, the president of the United States, and our Democratic colleagues,” he said Tuesday, arguing Democrats should be negotiating with President Donald Trump, not trying to circumvent him.

“Here in the Senate, my Democratic colleagues have an important choice to make. They could stand with common sense border experts, with federal workers, and with their own past voting records, by the way, or they could continue to remain passive spectators complaining from the sidelines, as the [House] speaker refuses to negotiate with the White House.”

The events of Thursday likewise marked the second time that failed Democrat vice presidential nominee Sen. Tim Kaine had sought to interfere with the Senate’s regular activities.

On Wednesday he issued a statement to Politico expressing opposition to the Senate’s plans to adjourn over the upcoming weekend in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

“My people are suffering … and what? People want to take the weekend off and people are too afraid to go on the board? Go on the board. If you want to vote against funding the government, fine. Put your name on it,” Kaine told Politico.

He doubled down on this Thursday, saying when asked about the Senate’s plans, “We’re going to be in for sessions for Friday, Saturday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.”

As of Friday, it remains unclear if the Senate will indeed be in session during the weekend.


What’s known without a shadow of a doubt is that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — whose intransigence (coupled with that of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer) is responsible for what has become the longest shutdown in U.S. history — will most certainly be in town.

Shortly before she and a delegation of congressional Democrats were on Thursday set to depart on a trip to Afghanistan, the president reportedly “grounded” her by postponing her trip.

“Due to the Shutdown, I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed. We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the Shutdown is over. In light of the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay, I am sure you would agree that postponing this public relations event is totally appropriate,” he said in a statement.



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Vivek Saxena


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