WHIP LIST: Shutdown looms as Senate lacks votes to pass House spending bill

Greg Nash

The Senate lacks the votes to pass a House GOP spending bill.

Forty-two Democrats have come out in opposition to the measure, which is also facing opposition in the House.

Two Republicans also say they will vote against the bill, leaving it short of the 60 votes necessary to pass it if it can get through the lower chamber.

While it is possible that members could shift their positions, it definitely means the federal government is closer to a shutdown than it has been since a 16-day closure in 2013.

The government would shut down on Saturday without action by Congress. 

{mosads}The main issue for Democrats is that the bill is silent on providing shelter to hundreds of thousands of young immigrants protected from deportation by an Obama-era program that President Trump is ending.

Immigration talks aimed at creating legislation to protect these people and to secure the border and change other immigration programs is at a stalemate.

Here’s a look at the positions of senators in both parties.

Most Republicans are expected to back the measure, while most Democrats are likely to oppose it unless it is changed.

RECENT UPDATES: Sens. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Mark Warner (D-Va.).



No (2)

Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.): Graham, who supported the December stopgap, said on Wednesday that he would vote against this week’s bill because he’s tired of backing short-term measures that he says are hurting the military. “I don’t want to shut the government down, but you know it’s killing the military,” he said.

Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.): Paul said on Fox News that he would be a “no” vote. “So, I’ll be a ‘no’ vote because I’m not going to continue to put the country further into debt,” he said on the “Outnumbered Overtime” program on Thursday. 


Unclear (2)

Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.): Flake, who has pressed for an immigration deal to be given a floor vote, declined to say if he would vote for the four-week spending bill.

Sen. Mike Lee (Utah): Lee hasn’t said how he will vote, but opposed both the September and December stopgap measures.



Yes (4)

Sen. Joe Donnelly (Ind.): Donnelly, one of several Democrats up for reelection in states won buy Trump, is voting yes. “I was elected by the people of Indiana to work every day on behalf of Hoosiers to do my job as a United States senator. Keeping government running is our job and I will vote to keep the government open,” he said Friday. He also supported last month’s bill. Donnelly and other red-state Democrats probably face political risk if Democrats are blamed for a shutdown over immigration.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.): Heitkamp is up for reelection in a deep-red state. On Friday, she said she would vote to keep the government open. “My vote to keep the government open is not an endorsement for a bill that just kicks the can down the road another few weeks,” said Heitkamp, who called on both parties to “find a long term solution to keep the government operating.” She also voted in December to keep the government open.

Sen. Doug Jones (Ala.): Jones, who joined the Senate earlier this month after an upset in his deep-red state, told reporters Friday night that he would support the House measure, citing its funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.): Manchin said on Tuesday that he will support a stopgap without an immigration deal, adding “we’re trying to find [a deal] but shutting down the government is not going to help them.”


Undecided (3)

Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio): Brown, who is running for reelection in a state won by Trump, voted against the December bill. He declined to say this week how he would vote.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mo.): McCaskill, also up for reelection in a state won by Trump, voted for the December bill but hasn’t indicated if she will support this week’s measure.

Sen. Bill Nelson (Fla.): Nelson, who is up for reelection in 2018, hasn’t said if he will support the CR, but voted for last month’s extension.


No or likely no (42):

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.): Baldwin is up for reelection this year in a state narrowly won by Trump but voted against the Dec. 22 continuing resolution.

Sen. Michael Bennet (Colo.):  Bennet — part of a bipartisan group that negotiated a stalled immigration deal — voted against the December stopgap.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.): Blumenthal voted against the December stopgap bill.

Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.): Booker is one of several Democratic senators seen as possible candidates for president in 2020 who have taken firm positions against voting for another stopgap measure that doesn’t help the young immigrants known as “Dreamers.”

Sen. Maria Cantwell (Wash.): Cantwell voted against last month’s funding bill.

Sen. Ben Cardin (Md.): Cardin voted against the December continuing resolution.

Sen. Tom Carper (Del.): Carper, who supported the last CR, told PBS that he will oppose the current bill.

Sen. Bob Casey (Pa.): Casey, who is up for reelection in a state carried by Trump, voted against last month’s bill.

Sen. Christopher Coons (Del.): Coons said that “at some point, Congress needs to do better than government-by-crisis, short-term fixes, and sidestepping difficult issues. That time is now.”

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.): Cortez Masto opposed last month’s bill.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (Ill.): Duckworth voted against last month’s bill.

Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.): Durbin — part of the “Gang of Six” immigration deal — said he will oppose the CR without an immigration deal.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.): Feinstein, who is facing a primary challenge from the left, voted against last month’s funding bill.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.): Gillibrand, one of the Democrats seen as having 2020 ambitions, said on Wednesday that “protecting Dreamers is a moral imperative. I will not vote for a spending bill that doesn’t treat Dreamers fairly.”

Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.): Harris, another subject of 2020 speculation, voted against last month’s bill and has been adamant that she wouldn’t support funding without an immigration deal.

Sen. Maggie Hassan (N.H.): Hassan announced Thursday she would oppose a short-term measure after supporting the one passed by the Senate in December.

Sen. Martin Heinrich (N.M.): Heinrich, who supported last month’s bill, said he is “not willing to leave these bipartisan priorities behind and vote for a bill that gives President Trump and congressional Republicans more time to hold the country hostage.”

Sen. Mazie Hirono (Hawaii): Hirono voted against the December bill.

Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.): Kaine and fellow Virginia Democratic senator Mark Warner on Thursday said they would oppose the House GOP stopgap.

Sen. Angus King (I-Maine): King, who voted for the stopgap in December, told CNN on Thursday that “I think we’ve got to close this escape hatch, stop voting for CRs, and tell the leadership they’re going to have to make their deals, and then we’ll get it done.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.): Klobuchar voted against last month’s stopgap.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vt.): Leahy, who supported last month’s stopgap, said this week that he will oppose the new bill.

Sen. Ed Markey (Mass.): Markey voted against last month’s bill.

Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.): Menendez — who helped craft a bipartisan immigration deal — voted against last month’s bill.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (Ore.): Merkley voted against last month’s bill.

Sen. Chris Murphy (Conn.): Murphy voted against last month’s bill.

Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.): Murray voted against last month’s bill.

Sen. Gary Peters (Mich.): Peters, who supported last month’s bill, will vote against this week’s measure, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Sen. Jack Reed (R.I.): Reed voted against last month’s bill.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.): The 2016 Democratic presidential primary runner-up voted against last month’s bill.

Sen. Brian Schatz (Hawaii): Schatz voted against last month’s bill.

Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.): The Senate Democratic leader called the bill a “loser” and warned that his caucus is broadly opposed to the measure.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.): Shaheen, who voted for the December bill, said she would vote against the new short-term bill, calling it “no way to run a government.”

Sen. Tina Smith (Minn.): Smith, who joined the Senate last month, said Thursday she would vote against the short-term bill.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (Mich.): Stabenow, a member of Democratic leadership who is up for reelection in a state won by Trump, will vote against the bill, according to the Detroit Free Press. She backed the December bill.

Sen. Jon Tester (Mont.): Tester, who is up for reelection in a state won by Trump, wrote on Medium that “the short-term — take-it-or-leave-it — budget bill before Congress right now is a disgrace. … It’s a failure of leadership and I’m here today to say, no more. Not on my watch.” 

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (Md.): Van Hollen, the chairman of the Senate Democratic campaign arm, opposed last month’s bill.

Sen. Tom Udall (N.M.): Udall said in a statement that “President Trump and the Republicans have a choice: They can either come to the table and negotiate in good faith on a responsible funding agreement and protection for DREAMers — or they can cause a government shutdown.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.): The liberal favorite and possible presidential candidate in 2020 opposed last month’s bill.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.): Whitehouse opposed last month’s bill.

Sen. Mark Warner (Va.): Along with fellow Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, Warner said Thursday he would oppose the House GOP bill.

Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.): Wyden said that he will “vote NO on a spending bill that fails to protect children at every turn and does not permanently protect Dreamers in Oregon and across the country.”

Tags Amy Klobuchar Angus King Ben Cardin Bernie Sanders Bill Nelson Bob Casey Bob Menendez Brian Schatz Catherine Cortez Masto Charles Schumer Chris Murphy Chris Van Hollen Christopher Coons Claire McCaskill Continuing resolution Cory Booker Debbie Stabenow Dianne Feinstein Dick Durbin Donald Trump Ed Markey Elizabeth Warren Gary Peters Government shutdown Heidi Heitkamp Jack Reed Jeanne Shaheen Jeff Flake Jeff Merkley Joe Donnelly Joe Manchin Jon Tester Kirsten Gillibrand Lindsey Graham Maggie Hassan Maria Cantwell Mark Warner Martin Heinrich Mazie Hirono Michael Bennet Mike Lee Patrick Leahy Patty Murray Rand Paul Ron Wyden Sheldon Whitehouse Sherrod Brown Tammy Baldwin Tammy Duckworth Tim Kaine Tina Smith Tom Carper Tom Udall US Senate whip count
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