Senate

McConnell urges Dems to ‘take yes for an answer’ on funding offer

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is trying to ratchet up pressure on Democrats to support President Trump’s government funding proposal ahead of a key test vote later this week.

McConnell, speaking from the Senate floor on Tuesday, said he is giving the White House offer a vote because it is the only one that “can be signed by the president and immediately reopen the government.”

{mosads}”The opportunity to end all this is staring us right in the face. That’s why we’ll vote on this legislation on the Senate floor this week. All that needs to happen is for our Democratic colleagues to agree that it’s time to put the country ahead of politics, take yes for an answer and vote to put this standoff behind us,” McConnell said.

The partial government shutdown, currently in its 32nd day, has forced roughly a quarter of the government to close and approximately 800,000 federal employees to be furloughed or work without pay.

Trump offered a proposal over the weekend that would fully reopen the government, provide $5.7 billion for his long-promised wall and give a three-year extension of legal protections to immigrants who are Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients or Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders.

McConnell separately told reporters that he expects a key test vote on the legislation on Thursday, when Democrats are expected to block the bill from getting the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster.

Democratic leadership has dismissed Trump’s proposal as a non-starter and two aides told The Hill over the weekend that they were not consulted by the White House about the plan.

In addition to not being able to get the support needed in the Senate, it is considered dead on arrival in the Democratic-controlled House.

But Republicans — who have seen multiple polls that show a majority of Americans are blaming Trump for the partial shutdown — are trying to turn the table on Democrats by forcing them to vote against a bill that would fully reopen the government.

McConnell on Tuesday questioned if Democrats were willing to “pay a price” to prolong the partial shutdown by opposing the GOP offer.

“To reject this proposal, Democrats would have to prioritize political combat with the president ahead of federal works, ahead of DACA recipients, ahead of border security and ahead of stable and predictable government funding,” McConnell said.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) fired back, saying that McConnell and Trump “need to come to their senses and reopen the government” and that the White House proposal is “going nowhere fast.”

“The leader’s attempts which I just heard on the floor here, the leaders attempts to blame Democrats for the shutdown are futile. … They are so far from reality that no one takes the leader seriously when he says it,” Schumer added.

Updated at 2:07 p.m.

Tags Charles Schumer Donald Trump Mitch McConnell
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