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Van Hollen: ‘Growing Support and Momentum’ for Senate Vote to Re-Open Government

PAM KEY

Monday on MSNBC’s “All In,” Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) said there was “growing support and momentum” for the Senate to vote on the House Bills that would re-open parts of the government.

Van Hollen said, “We need to make a strong statement this is not business as usual. So tomorrow we should make it clear that the first order of business should be voting on the two House measures that have already been passed, that have already been supported in various ways in the Senate, including by Republican Senators, and that would re-open the government. We need to make it clear while this is the Trump shutdown, it’s enabled by the fact that Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are trying to hide out. They have been essentially AWOL. They haven’t been to the White House. They should not be essentially contracting out their votes as Senate Republicans to Donald Trump. And they need to join us in voting for measures to open the government. And so tomorrow that’s what we will focus on. Then the caucus will have to decide how to proceed. Overall we’re making the clear statement it cannot be business as usual.”

He added, “As you know, motion to proceed on legislation requires 60 votes. You can block it with 40. A motion to proceed on judges does not require 60 votes, it requires 50. We’re going to start by saying tomorrow that SB 1, Senate Bill 1 should be a bill to reopen the government, should be a vote on the House bills, House of Representatives, new Democratic majority, they made it a priority to first focus on reopening the government. We think that’s what we should do. You’re right. Tomorrow the hope will be — and there’s growing support and momentum, I think we can do it —would be to say Senate bill 1 needs to be the House bills to re-open the government. Let’s vote on that first and send a very strong signal it should not be business as usual. The caucus will have to decide how to proceed but a strong consensus we need to accept that message tomorrow.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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