Senate Fails to Pass Trump-Backed Border Wall and Schumer Spending Bills

Trump, Schumer Disappointed
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The Senate failed to pass the Trump-backed compromise border security bill and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) spending bill that does not include increased border wall funding.

The Senate failed to invoke cloture on President Trump’s proposed compromise legislation, 50-47. The motion requires 60 votes.

Trump’s bill would fund the government and provide $5.7 billion in border wall funding in exchange for a three-year extension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for illegal aliens. The spending bill would also fund the government until September 30.

The Senate failed to pass a clean continuing resolution (CR), 51-44, that would fund the government but not include increased border wall funding. Schumer’s plan would fund the government through February 8 and give Congress and the president a few weeks to negotiate on a long-term solution to border security.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) voted for the clean CR even though he said, “I’ll be with Republicans” on the shutdown. Other Republican senators such as Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Susan Collins (R-ME), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) also voted for the clean CR.

“The shutdown is so extraordinarily unfair,” Collins said ahead of the vote this week. “I’ll vote yes and yes” on both bills.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) voted for both spending bills.

Before the vote, Schumer said that the continued government shutdown will lead to “dysfunction and paralysis.”

Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), who voted the Trump compromise border security bill, released a statement after the votes, reiterating his commitment to border security.

Perdue said:

Many of us fought to keep the Senate in session last August to avoid this funding situation in the first place. President Trump has tried to reopen negotiations with a reasonable proposal that not only fully funds the federal government, but also addresses critical border security and disaster relief. It is unacceptable that Senate Democrats continue to reject every opportunity to compromise in good faith. In the real world, both sides have to negotiate to find a solution. It’s time to work together to tackle these national priorities.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said in a statement on Thursday: “I voted to support the President’s plan to build the wall, increase border security, and open the closed portions of our government. The Democrats’ stubborn refusal to negotiate in good faith throughout this process has been deeply regrettable. The Senate is doing their job and it is time for the House to do theirs.”

Before the votes today, Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) tried to pass legislation that would immediately pay America’s Coast Guard officers and workers; however, the legislation failed due to Schumer’s objection.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) needs 60 votes for either bill to pass and then send the legislation to the House to pass.

Now that both bills failed, some politicians have speculated whether new negotiations will resume.

One senator spoke anonymously to Politico and said that the failed bills will force new negotiations.

“Our leadership is strongly encouraging us to set off a negotiation by having both go down so that it forces a negotiation,” the Republican senator said.

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) said Democrats cannot continue to merely object to everything the president proposes on border security.

“Then it’s time, I would hope, for the president to look for more things he can put on the table he’d like to do, like defense spending,” said Sen. Blunt. “But it’s also time for Democrats to talk about: If they don’t like the president’s DACA proposal, what do they like? You can’t just not like everything.”

President Trump has reiterated that, without a border wall, there cannot be border security.

Trump tweeted on Thursday, “Without a Wall there cannot be safety and security at the Border or for the U.S.A. BUILD THE WALL AND CRIME WILL FALL!”

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