McConnell accuses Democrats of jamming Senate over ‘tantrum’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees McConnell blocks bill to reopen most of government Overnight Health Care: Thousands more migrant children may have been separated | Senate rejects bill to permanently ban federal funds for abortion | Women's March to lobby for 'Medicare for All' MORE (R-Ky.) ripped Senate Democrats on Tuesday, comparing their plan to prevent the chamber from taking up legislation to a “partisan tantrum.”

“Now they’re threatening to shut the Senate down, too. ... They’re threatening to shut down efforts to protect our allies and strengthen our relationship with Israel, something they all recently claim to support,” McConnell said from the Senate floor.

Democrats, including Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDem senators debate whether to retweet Cardi B video criticizing Trump over shutdown William Barr's only 'flaw' is that he was nominated by Trump Cardi B expresses solidarity with federal workers not getting paid MORE (D-N.Y.), are expected to vote against taking up a foreign policy bill, arguing the Senate should keep its focus on government funding legislation. 

“They’ve put that partisan tantrum ahead of keeping a quarter of the government open and now they’re saying their partisan tantrum is more urgent than pressing legislation that concerns our alliances with Israel and the Syrian civil war,” McConnell said.

The foreign policy bill includes sanctions against the Syrian government while bolstering U.S. support for Jordan and Israel. It’s scheduled to get a procedural vote on Tuesday evening. Democrats will need 41 votes to block the bill.

The Democratic decision to try to block the bill comes as funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall has stalemated government funding negotiations aimed at resolving the partial shutdown.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump directed Cohen to lie to Congress about plans to build Trump Tower in Moscow during 2016 campaign: report DC train system losing 0k per day during government shutdown Senate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees MORE and Democratic congressional leadership will give dueling speeches on Tuesday night over the funding fight, which is currently in its 18th day.

Senate Republicans are refusing to move any legislation not backed by the president, who is demanding $5 billion for the border. Trump is expected to make a trip to the border on Thursday. 

House Democrats passed a package last week that would fully reopen the government, including funding the Department of Homeland Security, through Feb. 8.

They’re expected to begin passing individual bills this week.