Americas

US: Senate to vote on 2 proposals to end shutdown

Dueling pieces of legislation face long odds in clearing Senate

23.01.2019
US: Senate to vote on 2 proposals to end shutdown

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON

The Senate will vote on two pieces of legislation later this week that could end a month-long partial government shutdown, the chamber's leaders announced Tuesday.

The votes on Thursday will be on two competing pieces of legislation: one that would reopen the government and include $5.7 billion President Donald Trump is seeking to fund his U.S.-Mexico border wall, and another stopgap measure that would fund the government through early February.

Under the second bill, agencies that have gone unfunded during the shutdown would receive appropriations through Feb. 8.

Both bills face long odds in clearing the chamber where Republicans hold a narrow 53-47 majority.

Barring a significant change of heart among the Senate Democratic caucus, the first bill is unlikely to pass procedural hurdles that require 60 of the chamber's 100 senators to vote in favor for legislation to advance.

In addition to the border wall funding it does offer temporary extensions of some migrant protections Trump promised last weekend in exchange for his separation barrier.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor Tuesday that Trump's proposal is "going nowhere fast," in a sign of continued Democratic opposition.

Trump's plan includes three years of legislative relief for DACA recipients, and an extension of temporary protections for other migrants groups who fled their countries due to violence or natural disasters.

But the proposal was declared dead on arrival by Democrats even prior to its formal rollout on Saturday.

DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, in an immigration policy introduced by the Barack Obama administration that gives protections to those who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

As the government shutdown entered day 32 Tuesday, it is also unclear if the proposal to fund shuttered agencies through the first full week of February could garner the 60 votes needed to advance the bill, which already cleared the solidly Democratic House.

About 800,000 federal government employees will miss another paycheck if the shutdown continues through Friday.

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