On Friday, the Senate blocked a bill that would open the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through Feb. 8. The House-passed bill was asked to be taken up by Senator Tim Kaine, D-Va., but was rejected by Senator James Lankford, R-Okla., on behalf of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
McConnell has made good on his promise of blocking any funding bill from a vote that does not have the approval of President Trump, meaning there would have to be $5.7 billion in border wall funding included. This is the third time that a bill temporarily funding the DHS was blocked.
“There’s no way around it. Having show votes in the Senate doesn’t solve the problem,” McConnell said on Tuesday.
Trump and Republicans in Congress remain far apart on negotiations from Democrats in Congress over border wall funding. The negotiations have turned into a tit-for-tat between Trump and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., after Pelosi amended her invitation to the President to deliver his State of the Union address and asked him to delay the address until the shutdown is over or submit it in writing.
President Trump responded yesterday by not allowing Pelosi and other congressional Democrats to use a military aircraft to visit troops in Afghanistan and to stop in Brussels. The delegation was prepared to fly commercially, according to a spokesman for Speaker Pelosi, but said that the White House revealing their plans to fly commercial endangered the lives of troops, security personnel and other officials supporting the trip.
“You never give advanced notice of going into a battle area. You just never do,” Speaker Pelosi said.
The divide on Capitol Hill will likely linger over the weekend as the lapse in appropriations reaches day 28.