Senate to vote on competing bills to end government shutdown Thursday

WASHINGTON — The Senate is scheduled to vote Thursday afternoon on two competing bills that aim to re-open the federal government, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced Tuesday, the 32nd day of the partial government shutdown.

While the 2:30 p.m. ET vote will mark the first time the Senate will take action to end the shutdown since it began on Dec. 22, both pieces of legislation are expected to fail.

McConnell announced Tuesday that the Senate hold a vote on a proposal made by President Donald Trump over the weekend that would re-open the government in exchange for $5.7 billion in border wall funding and temporary protection for some immigrants brought to the country illegally as children, among other immigration provisions.

The measure, which the president unveiled on Saturday, needs the support of 60 senators to advance to a final vote — which means it would require votes from Senate Democrats, who have already declared the plan dead on arrival. Assuming all Republicans vote in favor of this bill, seven Democrats would have to defect in order for it to advance, which is highly unlikely.

“You can’t have a compromise when one side is determining not only what they want in the bill, but what we want in the bill without even seriously negotiating with us. That’s not how negotiating works. That’s not the Art of the Deal,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said of the GOP plan on the Senate floor Tuesday.

“What we have here is just another one-sided, partisan proposal from the president. And contrary to the president’s claims, it hardly represents a softening of his position. If anything, it’s even more radical,” he added.

Related: Furloughed workers protest amid government shutdown:

16 PHOTOS
Furloughed workers protest amid government shutdown
See Gallery
Furloughed workers protest amid government shutdown
Union workers demonstrate in front of the White House against the government shutdown on January 10, 2019, in Washington, DC. - US President Donald Trump headed Thursday to the US-Mexico border to push his demand for a wall, a day after he walked out of negotiations with Democrats in a political crisis paralyzing the government. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
Union members and Internal Revenue Service workers rally outside an IRS Service Center to call for an end to the partial government shutdown, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, in Covington, Ky. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
IRS worker Christine Helquist joins a federal workers protest rally outside the Federal Building, Thursday, Jan., 10, 2019, in Ogden, Utah. Payday will come Friday without any checks for about 800,000 federal employees affected by the government shutdown, forcing workers to scale back spending, cancel trips, apply for unemployment benefits and take out loans to stay afloat. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
IRS worker Angela Gran, center, and others participate in a federal workers protest rally outside the Federal Building, Thursday, Jan., 10, 2019, in Ogden, Utah. Payday will come Friday without any checks for about 800,000 federal employees affected by the government shutdown, forcing workers to scale back spending, cancel trips, apply for unemployment benefits and take out loans to stay afloat. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Cheryl Monroe, right, a Food and Drug Administration employee, and Bertrice Sanders, a Social Security Administration employee, rally to call for an end to the partial government shutdown in Detroit, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Government workers rally against the partial government shutdown at Federal Plaza, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, in Chicago. The partial government shutdown continues to drag on with hundreds of thousands of federal workers off the job or working without pay as the border wall fight persists. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
People gather during a federal workers protest rally at the Federal Building Thursday, Jan., 10, 2019, in Ogden, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
People gather during a federal workers protest rally at the Federal Building Thursday, Jan., 10, 2019, in Ogden, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Furloughed TSA worker Marae Persson shows participates in a federal workers protest rally at the Federal Building Thursday, Jan., 10, 2019, in Ogden, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Furloughed National Park Service ranger Kathryn Gilson, center, listens as fellow furloughed ranger Sean Ghazala, left, speaks to the media, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, during a press conference and rally at Staten Island's La Colmena Center in New York. Ghazala is based at Manhattan's African Burial Ground, and Gilson works at Gateway National Recreation Area, a national park encompassing wetlands surrounding New York city and parts of New Jersey's coastline. Gilson says she is home "bouncing off the walls" and worrying about paying her bills and student loan. Staten Island is a largely Republican borough of New York city, but Democrat Max Rose recently defeated his Republican opponent in the 2018 congressional elections. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
People rally to call for an end to the partial government shutdown in Detroit, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Union members and other federal employees protest the government shutdown on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Union members protest the government shutdown on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Union members and other federal employees stop in front of the White House in Washington during a rally to call for an end to the partial government shutdown, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. . (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
A demonstrator holds a 'Stop The Shutdown' sign during a rally with union members and federal employees to end the partial government shutdown outside the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. The partial government shutdown entered its 20th day today as its impact is more widely felt with about 800,000 federal workers who will miss their paychecks on Friday. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Union workers demonstrate in front of the White House against the government shutdown on January 10, 2019, in Washington, DC. - US President Donald Trump headed Thursday to the US-Mexico border to push his demand for a wall, a day after he walked out of negotiations with Democrats in a political crisis paralyzing the government. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Separately, the GOP-controlled Senate will vote Thursday afternoon on a Democratic short-term spending bill that excludes border wall funding and would reopen the government until Feb. 8. It would also include funding to respond to natural disasters. If all Democrats voted in favor of this measure, 13 Republicans would need to back it for it to move on to a final vote.

The decision to hold these votes, which are widely expected to fall short, come after McConnell's repeated insistence over the past few weeks that the only bill the Senate would take up would have to be one that could get a signature from Trump, earn enough Democratic votes in the Senate to overcome the 60-vote procedural hurdle, and pass the Democratic-controlled House.

“The Senate will not waste time on show votes, messaging votes, or any other proposals which fail to check those boxes regarding the funding bills,” McConnell said earlier this month on the Senate floor.

Trump on Tuesday continued to blast Democrats for their lack of support for his border wall policy.

"Without a Wall our Country can never have Border or National Security. With a powerful Wall or Steel Barrier, Crime Rates (and Drugs) will go substantially down all over the U.S. The Dems know this but want to play political games. Must finally be done correctly. No Cave!"

A few hours later, he tweeted praise for the congressional GOP. "Never seen [McConnell] and Republicans so united on an issue as they are on the Humanitarian Crisis & Security on our Southern Border. If we create a Wall or Barrier which prevents Criminals and Drugs from flowing into our Country, Crime will go down by record numbers!"

Meanwhile, House Democrats plan to bring more appropriations bills to reopen the government to the floor this week, which would add more than $1 billion in border-related funds — not for the wall — in an attempt to sweeten the package for Republicans.

Read Full Story