With the shutdown now sitting at over 30 days, lawmakers are getting desperate to show that they are attempting to resolve the ongoing crisis. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell backs a proposal that originated in the Republican-led Senate that would essentially fund President Donald Trump’s controversial border wall in exchange for the promise to reopen the government. This legislation matches what Trump proposed in an address to the nation on Saturday that offered temporary protections to some immigrants if lawmakers would agree to give him $5.7 billion for a border wall. This verbal proposal was immediately rejected by Democrats, reasserting that the border wall can be discussed after the government shutdown has ended.
The other key Senate vote will be on the Democratic-backed House legislation. This proposal provides for opening the government without guaranteeing to fund the construction of the wall.
Because both proposals require 60 votes to pass, each one is expected to fail unless key party leaders can convince those across the aisle to cross partisan lines. Because of the way the numbers fall, 13 Republicans would need to cross party lines for the House bill to pass while seven Democrats would need to leave the ranks for the Senate bill to move through. Most political analysts are not hopeful that the legislation will pass through on this round of voting.
Although McConnell had been largely quiet the last few weeks, aides say that he finally made the decision to move on the legislation this week when it became obvious that Democrats were not going to give in to the demands of Trump to fund the wall. Despite adding enticements for the Democrats in the form of protection for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and other disaster aid measures, it is not believed to be enough to entice Democrats.