McConnell blocks vote on House-passed bills to reopen government

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) failed in his first significant legislative test of 2019, on January 8, coming up three votes short of the 60 needed to take up debate on Middle East policy proposals instead of Democratic bills to end the government shutdown.

"At the end of the day, the president's beloved border wall is the issue exclusively responsible for this irresponsible shutdown, and it is an absolute disgrace and a disservice to all Americans to allow this broken campaign promise to hold all of the key funding bills hostage", said Rep. Mike Quigley, Illinois Democrat. Call your senators now (whether they're Democrats or Republicans, because Republicans really should get on board with this too) and tell them: "no votes on other legislation until the government reopens". Republicans say they don't see a way out of the impasse unless the president is able to find a way to declare victory on his core campaign promise of building a wall spanning the US-Mexico border.

Senate Republicans' first bill of the new Congress was meant to insert the legislative branch into President Donald Trump's Middle East policy, but also to drive a wedge between centrist and liberal Democrats over attitudes toward Israel.

Prospects for any kind of a deal appeared even more unlikely on Wednesday after Trump declared that a meeting with congressional Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to discuss the shutdown "a total waste of time".

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The White House has rejected House Democrats' approach, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has insisted repeatedly that he will not bring up any bill in the Senate that does not have Trump's support. Pence is also set to speak with Senate Republicans on Wednesday.

Matt Brooks, the CEO of the Republican Jewish Coalition, said the GOP leadership thought it worthwhile to pass noncontroversial legislation while the border wall issue remains unresolved. Ben Cardin, "This is a crisis - Americans are suffering for it".

"The Senate should vote on nothing else until we vote to reopen the government".

"Right now if I did something that was foolish like gave up on border security, the first ones that would hit me are my senators". Kamala Harris, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Sen.

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The Democrats are essentially repeating action they took last week in an effort to emphasize their support of the pre-existing condition protections in the 2010 law. Jeff Merkley and Delaware Sen.

"The Senate will not take up any proposal that does not have a real chance of passing this chamber and getting a presidential signature", he said. He was not present at the president's press conference on Friday, but spokesman Don Stewart said that the Kentucky Republican did not know about the event, according to CNN.

As an alternative to Trump's demands, progressive groups are calling for passage of a "clean" government funding bill without any money for border wall construction, detention beds or border agents.

This article was written by Seung Min Kim, Erica Werner and Jeff Stein, a reporter for The Washington Post.

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