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House-passed stopgap measure in Senate limbo

A stopgap government funding measure that provides $5.7 billion for President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump DOJ demanded metadata on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, Apple says Putin says he's optimistic about working with Biden ahead of planned meeting Biden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president MORE's wall and border security is stuck in Senate limbo. 

The Senate began taking an initial procedural vote on the House-passed bill at 12:31 p.m., but quickly ran into problems.

The vote has currently been open for more than four hours with the tally at 44-46, a few votes short of the amount needed to advance it.

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Republicans hold a one-seat majority, meaning if every senator voted they could afford to lose one GOP senator and still let Vice President Pence break a tie. GOP Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeOn The Trail: Arizona is microcosm of battle for the GOP Trump looms large over fractured Arizona GOP Why Republican politicians are sticking with Trump MORE (Ariz.), who is retiring, voted against proceeding on the House bill. 

"Right now it's still an open question" if we'll get on the bill, Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph Thune'The era of bipartisanship is over': Senate hits rough patch Bipartisan talks sow division among Democrats Senate passes long-delayed China bill MORE (R-S.D.) told reporters after the vote had been open for more than an hour and a half. "Hopefully we'll know soon." 

Absent an elevnth-hour agreement the House bill is expected to fail in the Senate, where it will need to overcome a 60-vote filibuster. But failing on the first procedural vote would be a setback for Republicans, and an embarrassment for Trump, showing his preferred plan can't get even a simple majority in the Senate. 

Hours into the vote, Vice President Pence, acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyHeadhunters having hard time finding jobs for former Trump officials: report Trump holdovers are denying Social Security benefits to the hardest working Americans Mulvaney calls Trump's comments on Capitol riot 'manifestly false' MORE and White House adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerThe Israel-Hamas ceasefire is holding — what's next? Eric Trump buys .2M home near father's golf club in Florida CDC's about-face on masks appears politically motivated to help a struggling Biden MORE briefly met with Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDOJ to probe Trump-era subpoenas of lawmaker records Democrats demand Barr, Sessions testify on Apple data subpoenas Out-of-touch Democrats running scared of progressives MORE (D-N.Y.), sparking hope among senators about the chances of a deal. 
 
"The fact that that's happening represents progress," said Sen. John CornynJohn CornynBipartisan lawmakers want Biden to take tougher action on Nicaragua Bipartisan Senate group announces infrastructure deal McConnell: 'Good chance' for infrastructure deal after talks unravel MORE (R-Texas), the No. 2 Senate Republican. "I'm feeling now better than I did an hour ago because that meeting is occurring." 

It's not clear if every senator will be in Washington, D.C., for the vote.

Scores of senators returned home Wednesday, after the Senate passed a seven-week bill that didn't include the boost in border funds, though several indicated they would return for a crucial government funding vote. 

"We have some that aren't coming back for various reasons. ..Some have no incentive to come back because they're not returning in January," Cornyn said.  

Several senators including Sens. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  MORE (R-Tenn.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel Feinstein'If this thing qualifies, I'm toast': An oral history of the Gray Davis recall in California The big myths about recall elections Concerns over growing ties between UAE and China could impact sale of F-35s: report MORE(D-Calif.), Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchDrug prices are declining amid inflation fears The national action imperative to achieve 30 by 30 Financial market transactions should not be taxed or restricted MORE (R-Utah), Dean HellerDean Arthur Heller9 Senate seats most likely to flip in 2022 On The Trail: Democrats plan to hammer Trump on Social Security, Medicare Lobbying World MORE (R-Nev.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurraySenate GOP blocks bill to combat gender pay gap OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden suspends Arctic oil leases issued under Trump |  Experts warn US needs to better prepare for hurricane season | Progressives set sights on Civilian Climate Corps Progressives set sights on Civilian Climate Corps program: exclusive MORE (D-Wash.), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulFauci to Chelsea Clinton: The 'phenomenal amount of hostility' I face is 'astounding' GOP's attacks on Fauci at center of pandemic message Fox host claims Fauci lied to Congress, calls for prosecution MORE (R-Ky.) and Tom UdallTom UdallSenate Democrats befuddled by Joe Manchin Study: Chemical used in paint thinners caused more deaths than EPA identified Oregon senator takes center stage in Democratic filibuster debate MORE (D-N.M.) haven't yet voted. 

Corker, who is retiring, was spotted chatting with Democrats on the Senate floor. He then left the floor without voting and told reporters as he went to talk with Republicans that he needed "intel."