Democrats will object to Senate adjourning amid shutdown

Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineUSAID appointee alleges 'rampant anti-Christian sentiment' at agency Frustration builds as negotiators struggle to reach COVID-19 deal Pompeo defers to Justice on question of Trump election tweet MORE (D-Va.) plans to object to the Senate adjourning for the week Thursday afternoon amidst a 20-day government shutdown, according to Senate sources.

Kaine and his fellow Senate Democrats want to ratchet up pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump's election delay red herring On The Money: Unemployment debate sparks GOP divisions | Pandemic reveals flaws of unemployment insurance programs | Survey finds nearly one-third of rehired workers laid off again OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump signs major conservation bill into law | Senate votes to confirm Energy's No. 2 official | Trump Jr. expresses opposition to Pebble Mine project MORE (R-Ky.), who earlier in the day blocked a Senate vote on House-passed legislation to reopen government agencies not connected with the partisan standoff over the border wall.  

“Why would the Senate leave town this weekend before voting to reopen the government?!” Kaine tweeted on Thursday afternoon.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Countless federal workers aren't being paid. People are worrying about how to pay bills. Congress could act now to fix it if Mitch McConnell would just take up a bill. Let's stay here and do it!” he wrote. 

Kaine has told McConnell that he will object to any motion to adjourn the Senate for the week, something that is usually approved as a matter of routine on Thursday afternoons.  

Sources familiar with the floor standoff over adjourning for the week said Kaine has made McConnell “aware” and is now waiting for the GOP leader’s response. 

McConnell could either hold a vote to override Kaine’s objection or keep the Senate in session through the weekend although no votes would be expected, according to one senator briefed on the plan. 

The GOP leader angered Democrats earlier Thursday by refusing to allow a vote on a bundle of six bills funding government agencies that don’t have jurisdiction over the hot-button issue of border security. 

McConnell argued the House-passed legislation won’t go anywhere without President TrumpDonald John TrumpMark Kelly clinches Democratic Senate nod in Arizona Trump camp considering White House South Lawn for convention speech: reports Longtime Rep. Lacy Clay defeated in Missouri Democratic primary MORE’s approval. 

“The last thing we need to do right now is trade pointless — absolutely pointless — show votes back and forth across the aisle,” he said. 

Negotiations appeared to collapse Thursday among a group of moderate Republicans led by Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's Campaign Report: Even the Post Office is political now | Primary action tonight | Super PACS at war Graham leads Democratic challenger Harrison by 1 point in South Carolina: poll The Global Fragility Act provides the tools to address long-term impacts of COVID MORE (R-S.C.) who had sought to find a compromise. 

“I think we're stuck. I just don't see a pathway forward,” Graham told reporters.  

Jordain Carney contributed.