U.S. lawmakers were yesterday expected to launch a last-ditch attempt to end a Budget impasse before hundreds of thousands of federal workers are forced to start the work week at home with no pay. Under Senate rules, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could introduce a motion for this to happen, but it would have to be approved by a majority of the Senate.
Seeking to win over holdout votes, Mr McConnell pledged on Sunday that the Senate would take up legislation on some top Democratic priorities, including immigration, if they are not already addressed by February 8.
Lawmakers have traded bitter recriminations for the failure to pass a stop-gap funding measure, and McConnell once again sought to pin the blame on Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Democrats want President Trump to negotiate over immigration as part of a budget deal, but Republicans say no deal is possible while federal government services are closed, BBC reported on Sunday. "If stalemate continues, Republicans should go to 51% (Nuclear Option) and vote on real, long term budget, no C.R.'s!"
The Republican party now controls the two houses of Congress, the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The House now needs to vote on the Senate's bill before President Donald Trump can sign it to reopen the government. Asked why, Mulvaney said Trump spoke with Democrats before the shutdown and will speak to them when it is over. If, by that date, there is no agreement on immigration issues, McConnell now says it is his "intention" to take up separate legislation that would deal with DACA and "related issues". Without congressional actions, deportations of Dreamers could begin in March - and Democrats, not trusting Trump or Republicans to act before the deadline, have insisted that such protections be included in the stopgap spending bill.
The Senate cleared a procedural hurdle to move forward a funding bill to reopen the government.
As the government shutdown enters its third day and the start of the working week, the outlines of a potential deal are coming into focus, though significant barriers remain. We just have to wait and see. Providing a permanent fix for this group has been a key sticking point in negotiations to keep the government running.
However, Schumer said that the temporary spending bill was far from a done deal, with the bill requring 60 votes to pass the Senate. That one-step process would leave them with unpopular pro-amnesty votes on their record before the November election - but no political benefits to show their disappointed supporters. Both House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and White House Legislative Director Marc Short confirmed that there would be no DACA negotiations while the government remained without funding.