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Senate To Vote On Competing Bills To End Government Shutdown

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With the partial government shutdown entering its second month, the Senate is scheduled to vote Thursday on competing proposals to re-open the government.

Neither bill is expected to receive the 60 needed votes to advance, however, as both sides remain dug in over the issue of President Donald Trump's controversial border wall.

The Senate will vote on Trump's proposal to re-open the government and fund the border wall as well as separate House-passed legislation that would fund the shuttered parts of the government through February 8th.

Trump sought to gain Democratic support for his proposal by including temporary protections for some illegal immigrants and disaster aid, although House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., still described the bill as "unacceptable."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., argued by rejecting the proposal, Democrats would be prioritizing political combat with Trump over federal workers, DACA recipients, border security, and stable and predictable government funding.

"Is that really a price that Democrats want to pay to prolong this episode, which they say they want to be over and done with?" McConnell said on the Senate floor on Tuesday.

"Is their plan truly to throw federal workers, DACA recipients, Customs and Border Patrol, and indeed all Americans under the bus just to extend this run of political theater?" he added. "So they can look like champions of the so-called 'Resistance'?"

McConnell described Trump's proposal as a comprehensive and bipartisan offer that would accomplish everything Democrats have said needs to be accomplished.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., claimed the proposal is merely an attempt by the president to save face, as the bill is "Not reasonable," "Not a compromise," and "Never intended to pass."

Schumer noted the clean bill to re-open the government and provide disaster aid passed by the Democratic-controlled House would allow federal employees to go back to work while lawmakers resolve their differences.

"Families across the nation have been suffering under the shutdown for more than a month," Pelosi said. "There is no excuse for Senate Republicans not to pass this legislation, which contains the funding proposal that they have already supported."

She added, "The Senate GOP and President Trump must stop holding the American people hostage, and re-open government immediately."

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