Home Politics McConnell has a plan to get the upper hand over gov’t shutdown

McConnell has a plan to get the upper hand over gov’t shutdown

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McConnell has a plan to get the upper hand over gov’t shutdown

Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, is getting ready to put some pressure on Democrats regarding the ongoing government shutdown. He plans to bring President Trump’s wall-compromise proposal up for a vote this week, combining it with legislation passed by House Democrats to fund government agencies through the fiscal year. 

The Republican Senate leader is banking on the move pushing blame for the shutdown on Democrats, according to a New York Times report on Sunday. 

Trump offered $5.7 billion for his border wall on Saturday in return for some temporary protections for the immigrant Dreamers. But the Democrats have so far refused to negotiate at all on border protections as long as the shutdown continues.

What remains unknown is whether McConnell would have the support to beat any effort to filibuster the measure. He is even facing some objections to the plan from his own caucus, in which some conservatives object to the Dreamer proposal as a form of amnesty, the report said.

GOP Sen. John Kennedy said he would vote for Trump’s plan to end the shutdown, saying it “represents progress, not perfection.”

But GOP Sen. James Lankford said Trump was just putting up a “strawman proposal” not intended to become law but to jump start stalled talks.

“The vote this week in the Senate is not to pass the bill,” Lankford (R-Okla.) said on ABC’s “This Week.” “It is to open up and say, ‘Can we debate this? Can we amend it? Can we make changes?’ Let’s find a way to be able to get the government open.”

On the Democratic side, they remain strong in their refusal to negotiate as the shutdown reached its 30th day.

“That’s why we have three words for the president: Open the government,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said. He urged support of legislation to protect federal workers. “One day of the shutdown is one day too many.”

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said Trump’s proposal to keep a temporary continuation of protections for young immigrants under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in a trade-off for $5.7 billion in border-wall funding is a beginning, “but you’ve got to start by opening the government.

“What we cannot do, and I’ve actually had Republicans as well recognize this, is that we cannot reward the kind of behavior of hostage-taking,” Warner said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “Because if the president can arbitrarily shut down the government now, he will do it time and again.”

On Sunday, the president accused Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a series of tweets of rejecting his deal even before he announced it.

“Nancy Pelosi and some of the Democrats turned down my offer yesterday before I even got up to speak,” Trump wrote. “They don’t see crime & drugs, they only see 2020 – which they are not going to win. Best economy! They should do the right thing for the Country & allow people to go back to work.”

Pelosi responded to Trump’s posting in her own tweet.

“800,000 Americans are going without pay,” she wrote. “Re-open the government, let workers get their paychecks and then we can discuss how we can come together to protect the border.”

Credit: NY Post

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