The US Senate rejected two bills to end the shutdown of the federal government triggered by President Donald Trump on Dec. 22, 2018, leaving no end in sight to the record-breaking 35-day closure of agencies.
A Republican legislative measure garnered 50 votes with 47 against, with 52-44 for the Democratic bill. Both measures needed 60 votes to pass.
Meanwhile, 800,000 federal workers and an unknown number of people employed by federal contactors who are struggling to cover their bills will miss another payday on Friday.
At 35 days with no end in sight, this is the longest shutdown in US history.
Six Republican defectors – including 2012 GOP presidential nominee and Utah Senator Mitt Romney – voted for a Democratic bill that would have reopened the government until February.
One Democrat backed the Republican measure, which would have provided the $5.7 billion that Trump wants to build a southern border wall.
It would also have temporarily shielded from deportation some residents who entered the country without documentation as children but Democrats don’t need to support Trump’s proposal in order to protect the Dreamers; for the time being, they are safe becuse the Supreme Court kicked the legs out from under Trump’s leverage on DACA by refusing to grant cert to the issue’s key lawsuit.
Afterwards, Senate leaders from both parties briefly discussed a new proposal to reopen federal agencies for three weeks.
Mr Trump was noncommittal, telling reporters at the White House that he would only sign a bill if it included a “down payment” on a border barrier.
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