CNN’s Camerota presses Kaine over refusal to do any Senate business before shutdown ends

CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota on Wednesday pressed Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDC train system losing 0k per day during government shutdown Overnight Defense: Trump unveils new missile defense plan | Dems express alarm | Shutdown hits Day 27 | Trump cancels Pelosi foreign trip | Senators offer bill to prevent NATO withdrawal McConnell blocks bill to reopen most of government MORE (D-Va.) over the vow of some Senate Democrats to block all votes during the partial government shutdown.

Camerota, the host of "New Day," said Democrats were making "the wheels of government grind to a complete" halt.


"That's not what we're doing," Kaine responded.

"There is a bill on the desk of the Senate — actually two bills right now. One to fund all the government through the end of the year, the shuttered agencies, except the immigration agencies, they would be funded through February 1," Kaine added.

"I believe the top priority of Congress right now should be to reopen government and quit punishing worker citizens," he said.

Kaine in a tweet earlier this week called for the Senate to not vote on any legislation until the government is reopened. He and other Senate Democrats are looking to pressure 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.) into allowing a vote to reopen the government. 

“So the right strategy is to reopen government and then we can find an immigration and border security deal and deal with the other business that's before us," he said on Wednesday.

The shutdown, currently in its 19th day, began after 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 refused last month to sign a funding bill that didn't include at least $5 billion for a wall along the southern border.

Trump is scheduled to meet Wednesday with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to resume negotiations over border security.

The meeting will come after Trump gave a prime-time address from the Oval Office on Tuesday evening in which he claimed a wall is necessary to confront a “growing humanitarian and security crisis” at the southern border.

Democrats have vowed not to approve any funding for a wall.