Shutdown Update: Senate To Vote at Noon Monday on Revised CR to Reopen Government

Shutdown Update: Senate To Vote at Noon Monday on Revised CR to Reopen Government

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced this evening that a vote on a revised Continuing Resolution (CR) to reopen the government and continue funding through February 8 will take place at noon Monday.  Earlier he had scheduled it for 1:00 am Monday.  It remains unclear as to whether Republicans and Democrats are sufficiently in agreement for it to pass (60 votes are needed), but the vote will be at noon.

Many U.S. government operations began to shut down yesterday when appropriated funds lapsed because the Senate did not approve a House-passed Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the government funded through February 16.

Congress has not passed any of the 12 regular FY2018 appropriations bills.  FY2018 began on October 1, 2017.  Instead three CRs have kept the government open and the Republican-led House and Senate are now trying to convince their members to pass a fourth.  The CRs maintain FY2017 funding levels and “kick the can down the road” on resolving FY2018 funding issues.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

One complaint is that the CR rejected by the Senate on Friday was for another four weeks of delaying decisions on final FY2018 appropriations.  McConnell plans to offer a CR that would shorten that to three weeks — to February 8, which would be after President Trump’s January 30 State of the Union address..

The revised CR would not address the crux of Democratic opposition however — a resolution to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration issue that affects people who were brought to this country illegally by their parents when they were children.

McConnell is promising that if a deal is not made on DACA by February 8, he will bring an immigration bill to the floor for a vote soon thereafter.  It would also address border security (presumably the border wall that President Trump advocates) and “related issues.”

Whether that is sufficient to win enough Democratic votes to pass the CR remains to be seen.  McConnell cannot commit to what the House will do, for example.  Even if the Senate passed a “DACA fix,” there is no guarantee House Speaker Paul Ryan would allow a vote in the House.   That is why Democrats want to attach it to “must-pass” legislation like an appropriations bill.

In any case, the next step in the government shutdown saga will be at noon tomorrow ET.

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