Rival proposals to end the partial government shutdown failed in the Senate on Thursday, prolonging the impasse that has stymied Washington for weeks but reigniting negotiations between the White House and Capitol Hill over a short-term fix that includes border-security funding.
The decision by a handful of Republicans and a single Democrat to cross party lines in the two closely watched votes opened the door for President Trump and congressional leaders to try to find a way to end the shutdown. Hundreds of thousands of federal employees will miss a second paycheck Friday.
In comments after the votes, Mr. Trump said he would be willing to support a short-term deal reopening government if it included a down payment for a border wall or barrier, and he would accept a “reasonable” agreement between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) as long as it contained wall funding.
Democrats and some Republicans in the Senate have urged Trump to temporarily reopen the government while the White House and Congress negotiate a broader immigration deal. Trump has insisted on securing financing for the wall before he agrees to fund the government.
The Republican plan that failed would have put $5.7 billion toward building the president’s proposed wall. In an attempt to appease Democrats, Trump offered a three-year extension of legal protections for immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children and migrants fleeing crises in certain countries. It would also have put more than $12 billion toward disaster relief, among other provisions.
Democrats eviscerated it, as the limited concessions for “Dreamers” did not go as far as previous proposals offering permanent residency or even a path to citizenship. Schumer on Wednesday called the plan “one-sided, harshly partisan and made in bad faith.”
McConnell earlier Thursday described the Democratic-backed proposal as one “that does not have a chance of becoming law and solving the problem,” according to The Washington Post. He did not comment to reporters about what the next steps would be if the bills failed.