The Senate voted Thursday afternoon on a pair of bills that would end the federal government shutdown, each going down in a vote predominantly along party lines.
One bill that would provide funding for the border wall was voted in favor of by a count of 51-47, while a spending bill to fund the government temporarily was voted in favor of by a count of 52-44.
Both bills, however, needed 60 votes to pass.
It comes as little surprise, as neither bill had any real hope of being passed. We have members of each party fracturing off, yet little to show for it as the rank-and-file seem to be holding the line.
The reality is, the only person who has offered any compromise thus far has been the President.
The Senate voted on two competing spending bills, one a Democrat plan to end the shutdown, the other a Republican plan. Each plan had its supporters from across the aisle.
The Republican bill included $5.7 billion in funding for the border wall, something Democrat Rep. Collin Peterson advised his colleagues to concede. It also offers a compromise of its own, protecting some illegal immigrants while limiting asylum. Voting “no” shows Democrats have abandoned concern for so-called Dreamers. Their resistance to Trump has escalated such that they have discarded their own principles.
In a bit of a surprise move, Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton and Utah Senator Mike Lee also cast “no” votes for the Trump border-wall plan.
This past weekend, Lee demanded the Senate “bring a spending bill to the floor — one that reopens the government and provides the funds and statutory changes desperately needed to secure our border.”
They did, and he still voted ‘no.’
The Democrat plan did not provide funding for the wall and was designed to fund the government for a two-week period, kicking the can further down the road. Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner voted with the Democrat bill, and also voted “yes” to border-wall funding. He was joined by fellow Republicans Lisa Murkowski (AK), Lamar Alexander (TN), Johnny Isakson (GA), Susan Collins (ME) and Mitt Romney (UT).
West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin was the only Democrat to also vote in favor of both bills.
As stated, the only one offering any kind of counteroffer is the President, while the Democrats seem content in letting the shutdown bring suffering to federal workers as well as hurting Trump politically.
Michigan Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin told a local news outlet that she’d be “absolutely willing” to work on negotiating a deal involving border security.
She is a party rarity.
Meanwhile, Rep. Elaine Luria of Virginia blasted those within her own party for failing to submit a counteroffer to Trump’s proposal to negotiate DACA and end the shutdown.
“We promised our constituents that we would seek bipartisan solutions, and we feel that this proposal would gain bipartisan support and allow a transparent process to evaluate the true needs of border security and provide much-needed reform to our immigration system,” she said.
It’s her party leaders, though, who refused to evaluate the needs of border security and ignored facts presented by the Department of Homeland Security.
Until they acknowledge the need for a wall, the shutdown will plod ever-onward.
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