House-passed stopgap measure in Senate limbo

A stopgap government funding measure that provides $5.7 billion for President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Trump to withdraw FEMA chief nominee: report 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 FlakeFlake donates to Democratic sheriff being challenged by Arpaio in Arizona The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says US-China trade talks to resume, hails potential trade with Japan, UK Joe Arpaio to run for Maricopa County sheriff in 2020  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 ThuneHillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers | Big tech defends efforts against online extremism | Trump attends secretive Silicon Valley fundraiser | Omar urges Twitter to take action against Trump tweet NRA says Trump administration memo a 'non-starter' Trump administration floats background check proposal to Senate GOP 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 administration asks Supreme Court to take up challenge to consumer bureau NOAA chief praises agency scientists after statement backing up Trump tweet The Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same MORE and White House adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump's 'soldier of fortune' foreign policy The Hill's Morning Report - 2020 Democrats set for Lone Star showdown Exclusive: Kushner tells GOP it needs to unify behind immigration plan MORE briefly met with Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill Sinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall MORE (D-N.Y.), sparking hope among senators about the chances of a deal. 

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 CorkerTrump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid Meet the key Senate player in GOP fight over Saudi Arabia Trump says he's 'very happy' some GOP senators have 'gone on to greener pastures' MORE (R-Tenn.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinGOP's Kennedy sends warning shot to Trump nominee Menashi Democratic senators quietly hope Biden wins over rivals Grassley: Kavanaugh classmate didn't contact Senate panel MORE(D-Calif.), Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom Trump awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to economist, former Reagan adviser Arthur Laffer Second ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators MORE (R-Utah), Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerThis week: Barr back in hot seat over Mueller report Trump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary MORE (R-Nev.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayEXCLUSIVE: Swing-state voters oppose 'surprise' medical bill legislation, Trump pollster warns Overnight Health Care: Juul's lobbying efforts fall short as Trump moves to ban flavored e-cigarettes | Facebook removes fact check from anti-abortion video after criticism | Poll: Most Democrats want presidential candidate who would build on ObamaCare Trump's sinking polls embolden Democrats to play hardball MORE (D-Wash.), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulDefense bill talks set to start amid wall fight Senate confirms two Treasury nominees over Democratic objections Liz Cheney calls for 'proportional military response' against Iran MORE (R-Ky.) and Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallOvernight Energy: Trump to revoke California's tailpipe waiver | Democrats propose bill to revoke Trump endangered species rollback | Trump officials finalize rule allowing fewer inspectors at pork plants Here are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 Democrats propose bill to revoke Trump endangered species rollback 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."