Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Wednesday that Trump's offer is "one-sided, harshly partisan and made in bad faith." He has pointed out that Trump tried to end the very legal protections for immigrants that he now seeks to extend. Democrats have repeatedly urged McConnell to take up measures passed by the Democratic-held House to fund the government without border wall money.
The votes to reopen the government Thursday come at a critical time. On Friday, about 800,000 federal workers will start to miss their second paychecks since funding for a quarter of the government lapsed Dec. 22.
The lost payments have left thousands scrambling to cover meals and bills. As the nine unfunded federal departments furlough some workers and ask others to work without pay, the shutdown is affecting services from airports to FBI investigations and food safety inspections. The longer the closure lasts, the more it chips away at U.S. economic growth.
Polls show most Americans view the shutdown as a "crisis" or at least a "problem." They largely blame Trump for it. As Americans seek a way out, more of them would rather see the president give ground than congressional Democrats, according to a CBS News poll.
The impasse has also become a broader reflection of governing dysfunction in Washington. On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi vowed to block Trump from giving his State of the Union address in the House chamber until the shutdown ends. The president yielded, saying late Wednesday that he will give the speech when the closure is over rather than find a different venue.
On Thursday, Pelosi contended "there's no excuse for Senate Republicans not to pass this legislation." She said "let's have [the border security] discussion after we open up the government."
Trump has so far insisted he will not give ground on the border wall. He even floated a new rallying cry on Wednesday: "BUILD A WALL & CRIME WILL FALL!"
It is unclear what proposal could get enough support from both Republicans and Democrats, or what level of pain for Americans harmed by the shutdown would cause them to yield. Several Republican senators have voiced support for temporarily reopening the government while immigration talks continue. But it is unlikely enough senators will defect to allow a bill to pass without Trump's support.
Congress has canceled a planned recess next week as the shutdown lingers. Meanwhile, some senators have called for lawmakers to stay in Washington over the weekend as they try to reach an agreement.
Multiple reports have said Democrats are expected to offer Trump a plan with $5.7 billion or more in border security money. The funding could go toward technology, rebuilding existing border fences or other measures — not the wall as the president proposes it.
On Thursday, Pelosi said "that's not true" that Democrats are preparing a counteroffer. She said the party plans to address border security provisions in a $49 billion Homeland Security appropriations bills.
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