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Competing Bills to End Government Shutdown Fail in the Senate

HeadlineJan 25, 2019

The Senate on Thursday rejected a pair of spending bills aimed at ending the longest partial government shutdown in U.S. history—now in its 35th day. Six Republicans crossed the aisle to vote in favor of a Democratic bill that would fund the government without meeting Trump’s demand of $5.7 billion for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. The 52-44 vote was a blow to Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell but failed to garner the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster. In an impassioned speech that lasted for over 20 minutes, Colorado Democratic Senator Michael Bennet blasted Senator Ted Cruz and other Republicans for supporting the shutdown—but laid blame for the crisis at the feet of President Trump.

Sen. Michael Bennet: “This idea that he was going to build a medieval wall across the southern border of Texas, take it from the farmers and ranchers that were there and have the Mexicans pay for it, isn’t true. That’s why we’re here, because he’s now saying the taxpayers have to pay for it.”

A Republican-crafted bill with funding for Trump’s border wall also failed Thursday. That reportedly prompted Republican lawmakers to angrily confront Mitch McConnell in a closed-door meeting over the shutdown and set off a flurry of negotiations on Capitol Hill.

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