House-passed stopgap measure in Senate limbo

A stopgap government funding measure that provides $5.7 billion for President TrumpDonald John TrumpJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Smollett lawyers declare 'Empire' star innocent Pelosi asks members to support resolution against emergency declaration 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.


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 FlakeTrump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Live coverage: Trump delivers State of the Union Sasse’s jabs at Trump spark talk of primary challenger 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 ThunePolls: Hiking estate tax less popular than taxing mega wealth, income Will Trump sign the border deal? Here's what we know Key GOP senator pitches Trump: Funding deal a 'down payment' on wall 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 MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyOvernight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — Trump, Dems open drug price talks | FDA warns against infusing young people's blood | Facebook under scrutiny over health data | Harris says Medicare for all isn't socialism White House spokeswoman leaving to join PR firm Trump’s state of emergency declaration imperils defense budget MORE and White House adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerFive things to know about Trump confidant Tom Barrack Dems open new front against Trump Dems launch investigation into Trump administration's dealings with Saudi Arabia MORE briefly met with Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerGOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats National emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win House Judiciary Dems seek answers over Trump's national emergency declaration 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 CornynO’Rourke not ruling out being vice presidential candidate O'Rourke mulling another Senate run as well as presidential bid Texas senator introduces bill to produce coin honoring Bushes 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 CorkerSasse’s jabs at Trump spark talk of primary challenger RNC votes to give Trump 'undivided support' ahead of 2020 Sen. Risch has unique chance to guide Trump on foreign policy MORE (R-Tenn.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinFeinstein says she thinks Biden will run after meeting with him Trump judicial nominee Neomi Rao seeks to clarify past remarks on date rape Bottom Line MORE(D-Calif.), Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchOrrin Hatch Foundation seeking million in taxpayer money to fund new center in his honor Mitch McConnell has shown the nation his version of power grab Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Utah Senate votes to scale back Medicaid expansion | Virginia abortion bill reignites debate | Grassley invites drug execs to testify | Conservative groups push back on e-cig crackdown MORE (R-Utah), Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerTrump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary Oregon Dem top recipient of 2018 marijuana industry money, study finds MORE (R-Nev.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayJohnson & Johnson subpoenaed by DOJ and SEC, company says Top Dems blast administration's proposed ObamaCare changes Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Dems blast rulemaking on family planning program | Facebook may remove anti-vaccine content | Medicare proposes coverage for new cancer treatment MORE (D-Wash.), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump escalates fight with NY Times The 10 GOP senators who may break with Trump on emergency On unilateral executive action, Mitch McConnell was right — in 2014 MORE (R-Ky.) and Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallHillicon Valley: House panel takes on election security | DOJ watchdog eyes employee texts | Senate Dems urge regulators to block T-Mobile, Sprint deal | 'Romance scams' cost victims 3M in 2018 Dems urge regulators to reject T-Mobile, Sprint merger Dems wary of killing off filibuster 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."