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Senate to vote on 2 bills to end shutdown, neither expected to pass

Senate to vote on competing plans to end shutdown

The Senate will vote to advance two proposals to end the government shutdown on Thursday, one which provides money for President Trump's requested border wall, and one which reopens the government but does not include wall funding. Both proposals need 60 votes in order to advance to a full vote on the Senate floor.

The vote on both proposals is something of a concession on the part of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has previously said that he would not bring any bill that would not get Mr. Trump's signature to the floor for a vote. The bill passed by the Democratic-majority House, which extends government funding through Feb. 8 but does not include wall funding, would almost certainly not be signed by Mr. Trump.

The Republican bill, which will be voted on first, is Mr. Trump's deal offer to Democrats, offering temporary extensions of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program in exchange for $5.7 billion for the wall or barrier. Even if the bill were to win 60 votes to advance to a full vote, and then get 60 votes to pass in the Senate, it would be unlikely to pass in the House.

Democrats believe that the deal offered by Mr. Trump is inadequate because it does not offer a permanent solution for DACA and TPS, programs that the Trump administration announced it would phase out in 2017.

Speaking on the Senate floor, McConnell praised the president's deal, saying, "It would break through this stalemate that would re-open government swiftly and deliver on a number of other policy priorities that are seen as important on both sides of the aisle."

"To reject this proposal, Democrats would have to prioritize political combat with the president ahead of federal workers, ahead of DACA recipients, ahead of border security, and ahead of stable and predictable government funding," McConnell said.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, speaking on the Senate floor, then accused Republicans of holding 800,000 federal workers hostage in exchange for funding for a border wall.

"It was not a good faith proposal, it was not intended to end the shutdown. The president's proposal is one-sided, harshly partisan, and was made in bad faith," Schumer said, noting that the deal was made without negotiation or consultation with Democrats.

The shutdown entered its fifth week Monday.

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