President Trump and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer keep throwing the government shutdown football back and forth. With under 12 hours until a shutdown deadline, it seems more likely that there will be a partial government shutdown. The House of Representatives passed a stop-gap spending bill Thursday night that includes $5.7 billion for President Trump's border wall. It's that last part that will essentially stop it in its tracks in the Senate, where it needs 60 votes.
Democrats have insisted they will not vote for a bill that includes billions for the border wall.
In a speech on the Senate floor Friday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told his Republican colleagues that the Democrats have passed different versions of a short term continuing resolution that would keep the government running until Feb. 8. Each of those bills contains $1.3 billion for border security, but not a wall.
"Democrats support real border security," Schumer said. "Not a wall."
He had other reasons for rejecting Trump's demands. The $1.3 billion in the Democrats' plan is in addition to the $1.3 billion Congress allocated last year for border security, "the vast majority" of which the Trump administration has not yet spent, Schumer noted. Because the White House has yet to allocate those funds, Schumer accused Trump of running "a political gambit to appease his never happy base."
Meanwhile, McConnell says he's "proud" to vote for the bill heading toward the Senate.
Not only does the legislation fund the border wall, he said, but it provides other needed investments in national security. He said the bill "would be quite uncontroversial in a more normal political moment." Especially, he said, "if both parties reject personal spite for the president."
We have a "real crisis" at the border that needs to be addressed, he added. Border agents have met greater numbers of gang members, and more cocaine and fentanyl seizures than in recent years.
This piece will be updated once the Senate votes on the stop-gap spending bill.