Congressional Democrats unveil strategy to end Trump shutdown

UPDATE — 1/3, 7:14 p.m. EST: Despite Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s pledge to block House legislation reopening approximately a quarter of federal government agencies, Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) said Thursday the Senate should pass relevant spending measures without border wall funding demanded by President Trump.

A statement by the White House said Trump would not “accept legislation that provides unnecessary funding for wasteful programs while ignoring the Nation’s urgent border security needs.”

 

A plan devised by congressional Democratic leaders could end the partial federal government shutdown initiated by President Donald Trump.

On Monday, a joint statement from Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) was released revealing the course of action Democrats will take to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through the first week of February at current monetary levels. The strategy would allow 800,000 federal workers affected by the shutdown to receive their earned paychecks.

Democrats will introduce two bills in the House Thursday to open the 116th Congress aimed at nixing Trump’s initial $5 billion demand to fund his long-promised wall along the U.S-Mexico border.

Republican refusal to support the first bill worth $265 billion to fund all government agencies except DHS through Sept. 30 would be a vote to hold “the health and safety of the American people and workers’ paychecks  hostage over the wall”, according to Pelosi and Schumer.

The proposed legislation has already been met with strong criticism from Trump, who reacted to the Democratic plan on Twitter:

As long as the shutdown remains in effect, government employees will continue to work without pay and small business will be unable to receive federal loan money. The National Zoological Park, as well as 19 Smithsonian museums in Washington and New York, are also set to close Wednesday.

 

[Reuters] [USA Today] [Politico] [Washington Post via MSN] [Photo courtesy Getty Images/Brendan Smialowski via Complex]

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