McConnell blocks bill to temporarily reopen DHS

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Senate GOP mulls speeding up Trump impeachment trial Republicans will pay on Election Day for politicizing Trump's impeachment MORE (R-Ky.) blocked a House-passed bill to temporarily reopen the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with the partial shutdown in its 32nd day.

Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineHouse war powers sponsor expects to take up Senate version of resolution Sens. Kaine, Lee: 'We should not be at war with Iran unless Congress authorizes it' Overnight Defense: War powers fight runs into impeachment | Kaine has 51 votes for Iran resolution | Trump plans to divert .2B from Pentagon to border wall MORE (D-Va.) tried to take up the House bill, which would fund the department through Feb. 8. 

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McConnell, however, objected. Under Senate rules any one member can try to pass a bill, but any one member can also block that request. 

McConnell has said for weeks that he won’t take up the House legislation, arguing it would be a “show” vote because President TrumpDonald John TrumpNational Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women's March photo Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Democratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' MORE won’t sign the bill. 

Instead, the GOP leader is expected to hold a procedural vote Thursday that would trade $5.7 billion for wall funding in exchange for a three-year extension of legal protections for some immigrants.

"The opportunity to end all this is staring us right in the face. That's why we'll vote on this legislation on the Senate floor this week. All that needs to happen is for our Democratic colleagues to agree that it's time to put the country ahead of politics, take yes for an answer and vote to put this standoff behind us," McConnell said from the Senate floor earlier on Tuesday. 

But the president’s proposal is not expected to get the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate, much less be approved by the House where Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiRepublicans will pay on Election Day for politicizing Trump's impeachment Trump chooses high-profile but controversial legal team Trump: Impeachment timing intended to hurt Sanders MORE (D-Calif.) has called it a “non-starter.”
 
McConnell said as recently as last week that in order to get a Senate vote a bill would need to have both the backing of Democrats and Trump. 
 
It's the fourth time McConnell has blocked the House's DHS bill. He's also blocked legislation three times that would reopen the other departments and agencies, besides DHS, that are currently shuttered because of the partial shutdown and fund them through Sept. 30. 
 
The partial government shutdown, currently in its 32nd day, has forced roughly a quarter of the government to close and approximately 800,000 federal employees to be furloughed or work without pay.
 
Democrats are trying to build pressure on the Senate GOP leader, who has stuck closely to the president in the funding fight. 
 
Kaine, whose state has a large group of federal employees, talked on Tuesday about the impact the partial shutdown is having on the Coast Guard. 
 
"Every other branch of the military is currently funded," Kaine said. "The DHS, however, is not funded. So the Coast Guard is the one military branch that's not being paid."