Six GOP senators vote to end shutdown without wall funding

Six Republican senators crossed the aisle on Thursday to vote with Democrats and advance a stopgap measure that would end the partial government shutdown without additional funding for President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump reversed course on flavored e-cigarette ban over fear of job losses: report Trump to award National Medal of Arts to actor Jon Voight Sondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report MORE's proposed border wall.

GOP Sens. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderPelosi aide hopeful White House will support drug-pricing bill despite criticism Overnight Energy: BLM staff face choice of relocation or resignation as agency moves | Trump says he's 'very much into climate' | EPA rule would expand limits on scientific studies Juan Williams: Republicans flee Trump MORE (Tenn.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Senate confirms controversial circuit court nominee Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families MORE (Maine), Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerTariffs threaten 1.5M jobs: Study This week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Progressive veterans group launches campaign labeling Trump as a 'national security threat' MORE (Colo.), Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonVeterans face growing threat from online disinformation Eleven GOP senators sign open letter backing Sessions's comeback bid Juan Williams: Republicans flee Trump MORE (Ga.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiImpeachment hearings don't move needle with Senate GOP Hillicon Valley: Federal inquiry opened into Google health data deal | Facebook reports millions of post takedowns | Microsoft shakes up privacy debate | Disney plus tops 10M sign-ups in first day Senators press FDA tobacco chief on status of vaping ban MORE (Alaska) and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyDeval Patrick: a short runway, but potential to get airborne Ocasio-Cortez jabs 'plutocratic' late entrants to 2020 field Jon Huntsman expected to run for governor in Utah MORE (Utah) voted to advance the continuing resolution, which would have fully reopened the government and funded it through Feb. 8. 

The measure fell short of the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster.

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The 52-44 vote in support of reopening the government without additional funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall is a major blow to Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers skeptical of progress on spending deal as wall battle looms Impeachment battle looms over must-pass defense bill 'Saturday Night Live' presents Trump impeachment hearings with 'pizzazz' of soap opera MORE (R-Ky.).

The Senate also rejected a Trump-backed proposal on Thursday that included $5.7 billion for a border wall. That 50-47 vote also fell short of the 60 needed to advance.

Roughly a quarter of the federal government has been closed since Dec. 22 amid an entrenched fight over funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall. Approximately 800,000 federal workers have been furloughed or forced to work without pay in the 34 days since the shutdown began. Those workers are poised to miss their second paycheck Friday.

The Democratic proposal would reopen the quarter of the government that has been shuttered and fund it through Feb. 8. It does not include additional funding for the U.S.-Mexico border wall, as demanded by Trump.

Democrats were expected to pick up some GOP defectors on their proposal. Collins and Murkowski both indicated on Wednesday that they would support it, and Gardner's staff told The Denver Post that he would also support the short-term funding bill.

"I voted in favor of the President’s proposed compromise, which would have achieved both goals," Romney said in a statement following the vote. "When that measure failed, I also voted for an alternative proposal that would open the government and give the Democrats two weeks to put up or shut up — come to the table and agree to a final deal on border security and enforcement."

Isakson, speaking from the Senate floor after the votes, said it was time for the Senate to "do some business."

"All Democrats and Republicans pay close attention. I've been here 20 years. I've seen a lot of shutdowns, about five of them. I want to talk about what they produced. The first one under Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonPrince Andrew says he regrets staying with Jeffrey Epstein Now for your moment of Zen from the Trump impeachment hearings The Hill's Morning Report — Public impeachment drama resumes today MORE produced Monica Lewinsky, she was an intern in the White House and idle hands are never good," he said.

In a statement following the vote, Alexander said he voted twice to reopen the government, arguing that it was "wrong for either side" to use shutdowns "as a bargaining chip."

“I voted twice today to open the government because it should never have been shut down," he said. "It is always wrong for either side to use shutting down the government as a bargaining chip in budget negotiations — it should be as off-limits as chemical weapons are to warfare."

Alexander has previously backed the Senate taking up a continuing resolution to give lawmakers more time to work out a deal.

“We ought to take the president’s request, immediately consider it … add to it whatever we need to do to get a result, send it to him, sign it and in the meantime open the government up,” Alexander told WREC, a Tennessee radio station, earlier this month.

Alexander acknowledged that the idea of reopening the government for roughly three weeks wouldn’t gain traction without Trump’s support, adding, “I’m hoping the president changes his mind. This is the way you get a result.”

Updated at 4:55 p.m.