McConnell takes hard line after failed shutdown vote

McConnell takes hard line after failed shutdown vote
© Greg Nash
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's 12:30 Report Republican strategist: Trump is 'driven by ego' Senate GOP campaign arm asking Trump to endorse McSally in Arizona: report MORE (R-Ky.) ripped Democrats for forcing a "completely avoidable" shutdown seconds after the gavel fell on a 50-49 vote failing to advance legislation to avoid a shutdown.
 
McConnell spoke after the Senate missed a deadline for passing legislation to prevent a shutdown and about two hours after the vote began. 
 
"What we have just witnessed on the floor was a cynical decision by Senate Democrats to shove aside millions of Americans for the sake of irresponsible, political games," he said from the Senate floor.
 
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McConnell did not lay out a back-up plan, but instead said the Senate will vote again on the House-passed bill, signaling Republicans and the White House believe they have an advantage and will seek to pile on blame for Democrats on the shutdown.
 
"We're going to keep on voting. The government might be heading into shutdown, but the Senate's not," he said. 
 
His comments came after Democrats, and some Republicans, blocked a House-passed bill to fund the government through mid-February.
 
Forty-five Republicans and five Democrats backed the bill, while 44 Democrats and four Republicans opposed it in addition to McConnell, who cast a "no" vote for procedural reasons to preserve his right to bring the bill up again.
 
McConnell referenced the White House statement, noting that the administration "will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands."
 
Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has emerged as a sticking point in the negotiations. 
 
Democrats argue it is the GOP that is to blame for the shutdown, and they think Republicans will be blamed by the public given their hold on the White House and Congress.