House-passed stopgap measure in Senate limbo

A stopgap government funding measure that provides $5.7 billion for President TrumpDonald John TrumpThorny part of obstruction of justice is proving intent, that's a job for Congress Obama condemns attacks in Sri Lanka as 'an attack on humanity' Schiff rips Conway's 'display of alternative facts' on Russian election interference 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 FlakePollster says Trump unlikely to face 'significant' primary challenge Trump gives nod to vulnerable GOP Sen. McSally with bill signing Flake opens up about threats against him and his family 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 ThuneTelehealth is calling — will Congress pick up? GOP grows tired of being blindsided by Trump Hillicon Valley: Assange faces US charges after arrest | Trump says WikiLeaks 'not my thing' | Uber officially files to go public | Bezos challenges retail rivals on wages | Kremlin tightens its control over internet 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 MulvaneyTrump frustrated with aides who talked to Mueller The Hill's Morning Report — Mueller aftermath: What will House Dems do now? The Hill's Morning Report - Waiting on Mueller: Answers come on Thursday MORE and White House adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerNadler: I don't understand why Mueller didn't charge Donald Trump Jr., others in Trump Tower meeting Trump Tower meeting: A shining example of what not to investigate Impeachment? Not so fast without missing element of criminal intent MORE briefly met with Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerHillicon Valley: House Dems subpoena full Mueller report | DOJ pushes back at 'premature' subpoena | Dems reject offer to view report with fewer redactions | Trump camp runs Facebook ads about Mueller report | Uber gets B for self-driving cars Dem legal analyst says media 'overplayed' hand in Mueller coverage Former FBI official praises Barr for 'professional' press conference 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 Cornyn Embattled senators fill coffers ahead of 2020 Trump struggles to reshape Fed Congress opens door to fraught immigration talks 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 CorkerPollster says Trump unlikely to face 'significant' primary challenge GOP gets used to saying 'no' to Trump Democrats introduce bill to rein in Trump on tariffs MORE (R-Tenn.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDems reject Barr's offer to view Mueller report with fewer redactions Five takeaways from Mueller's report Only four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates MORE(D-Calif.), Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchHatch warns 'dangerous' idea of court packing could hurt religious liberty Former Democratic aide pleads guilty to doxing GOP senators attending Kavanaugh hearing How do we prevent viral live streaming of New Zealand-style violence? 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 MurrayHillicon Valley: Washington preps for Mueller report | Barr to hold Thursday presser | Lawmakers dive into AI ethics | FCC chair moves to block China Mobile | Dem bill targets 'digital divide' | Microsoft denies request for facial recognition tech Dems introduce bill to tackle 'digital divide' Only four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates MORE (D-Wash.), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulBooker, Harris have missed most Senate votes Trump vetoes measure ending US support for Saudi-led war in Yemen Bottom line MORE (R-Ky.) and Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallNew Mexico senators request probe into militia group detaining migrants Latino group urges state lawmaker to make primary challenge to Democrat for Georgia House seat Embattled senators fill coffers ahead of 2020 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."