Two Democratic senators call for blocking votes unrelated to shutdown

Two Democratic senators call for blocking votes unrelated to shutdown

Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va., said his voters don't want him to just give up and give Trump his wall money so they can get their paychecks and go back to work.

Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) is leading the effort by Senate Democrats to introduce a companion bill to a major political and electoral reform bill introduced by House Democrats on January 4.

Trump argued Tuesday night that the wall was needed to resolve what he called a security and humanitarian "crisis". The speeches were part of an aggressive public relations campaign to win public support in the standoff over the 18-day partial government shutdown.

But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told fellow Democrats he will vote to block debate on the measure until McConnell agrees to take up House-passed bills to reopen the closed government departments, according to a senior Senate Democratic aide.

U.S. President Donald Trump walked out of a meeting with congressional leaders on Wednesday as both parties returned to the White House for another round of negotiations on the ongoing partial government shutdown.

President Trump is holding America hostage as he demands taxpayers fund his border wall, refusing to reopen the government until he gets his cash. Ben Cardin, D-Md., a staunch supporter of anti-BDS legislation, tweeted that the Senate "should not take up any bills unrelated to reopening the government".

But with 800,000 federal employees either working without pay or not working at all - and with the prospects for programs like food stamps uncertain - Casey said, "We have to focus people's attention on the fact that there's a way to open the government".

Vice President Mike Pence will meet with House Republicans on Tuesday evening to urge them to stand with the president against the piecemeal appropriations bills.

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"Our leadership and all of us are having to spend hours dealing with phone calls from constituents and on issues around the shutdown", said Democratic Representative Pramila Jayapal, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee.

"As I said on the night the partial government shutdown began, I do not think shutting down the government is ever the right answer", Gardner said on January 3.

Other Democratic senators who also support the bills will likely follow suit.

First and foremost, it's a great messaging opportunity to highlight the differences between Democratic and Republican governing strategies. That bill passed through a Republican House, cleared a Senate that Democrats controlled by just two votes and was signed by a Republican president.

Democrats held a series of press conferences around the Capitol flanked by furloughed federal workers, blaming the president for upending the lives of hundreds of thousands of them and even more contractors. He said the White House ignored those statistics when issuing the updated request.

"I nearly never use these types of procedures, but this is extraordinary to be meeting like this while a good part of the government is shut down", Cardin said Monday in an interview.

Republican leader says opposition to border security funding is partisan spite. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) slammed an anti-BDS bill introduced last week by Republicans as "absurd".