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Senate Democrats Have A Strategy To End The Shutdown

A growing number of Senate Democrats are refusing to vote in favor of any legislation until an appropriations bill is passed to end the government shutdown.

The Republican-led House passed a stopgap funding bill on Dec. 20 that included $5.7 billion to construct a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, however, with a 51-seat majority, Senate Republicans fell short of the necessary 60 votes needed to send it to President Donald Trump’s desk for signature.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed to kill the legislation on arrival in the Senate, and consequently, a government shutdown has been in effect since funding expired Dec. 21.

After Democrats took the control of the House, the chamber passed a stopgap spending bill that would fund the Department of Homeland Security without any wall appropriations, as well as a second consolidated spending bill to fund the remaining agencies.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected the Democrats’ House-passed bill calling the lack of border security funding a “non-starter.”

In an attempt to re-open the government, Schumer and his Democratic caucus are quietly planning to block legislation that McConnell brings to the floor, according to The Washington Post. The first piece of legislation to be protested is a bill to authorize security assistance to Israel.

“Senate Democrats should block consideration of any bills unrelated to opening the government until Sen. Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans allow a vote on the bipartisan bills the House passed to open the government,” tweeted Maryland Democrat Sen. Chris Van Hollen. “Mitch, don’t delay. Let’s vote!”

“The House has already passed bipartisan bills to end the #TrumpShutdown. I agree with [Van Hollen],” Massachusetts Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren responded. “The Senate’s first and only order of business right now should be passing that same legislation.”

Other Democrat senators who have advocated for the strategy include Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kamala Harris of California and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Even if the Democrat-sponsored bill is passed in the Senate, Trump has pledged to veto any measures that exclude funding for a border wall.

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