Kaine to force Senate to hold rare Saturday session amid shutdown

Greg Nash
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) is planning to force the Senate to hold a rare Saturday session as roughly a quarter of the government remains shut down.
“We’re going to be in for sessions for Friday, Saturday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday,” Kaine said when asked about his plans to force the Senate to be in session over the weekend.
“I’m going to be on the floor and I’m going be making the UC [unanimous consent] tomorrow and next week, I probably won’t make the UC on Saturday,” he added.
The decision will force at least several senators to remain in town through part of the weekend and next week.{mosads}
One Republican is required to preside over the Senate when it is in session, while another Republican will need to be in the chamber to object to any unanimous consent requests from Democrats.
Kaine’s decision comes as the partial government showdown barrels toward the 1-month mark with no agreement to end the funding fight in sight.
The stalemate between President Trump and top congressional Democrats intensified this week, with Trump and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sparring over Trump’s plan to deliver a State of the Union and Pelosi’s plan to travel abroad for a congressional trip during the shutdown.
Talks between the two sides to reopen the government remain at a standstill, and an effort by a group of moderate senators is struggling to gain traction. 
Kaine, whose state has a large population of federal workers, warned earlier this week that he would object to senators leaving town this weekend without a deal.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said that the Senate will not take a scheduled break next week if the government remains partially closed.
Still, members appear to be ready to head out of town for the holiday recess.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) told Bloomberg on Thursday that there wouldn’t even be enough members in Washington next week for her to hold a committee hearing, let alone a major vote.
“There’s not going to be a lot of business going on here in the Congress next week,” Murkowski said.
Kaine separately said that while the Senate would technically be in session next week, “right now it is no vote unless there is a 24 hour advanced notice.”
A spokesman for McConnell declined to comment when asked Thursday if the Senate would not be voting next week.
Tags Donald Trump Lisa Murkowski Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi Tim Kaine

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