NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, January 24th, 2019

U.S. Senate fails to advance legislation to reopen the federal government

As expect­ed, the Repub­li­can-con­trolled Sen­ate failed today to advance a bill to reopen the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment, although six Repub­li­cans did break ranks with Don­ald Trump and Mitch McConnell to sup­port the Demo­c­ra­t­ic proposal:

A pair of mea­sures to reopen the gov­ern­ment — one with Trump’s bor­der wall, the oth­er with­out it — failed in the Sen­ate on Thurs­day, send­ing law­mak­ers from both par­ties into fren­zied efforts to forge a com­pro­mise that could end the near­ly six-week par­tial shutdown.

In back-to-back votes, the Sen­ate first blocked Mr. Trump’s pro­pos­al to add $5.7 bil­lion for his bor­der wall to leg­is­la­tion to resume fund­ing for the gov­ern­ment, then turned back a Demo­c­ra­t­ic mea­sure that omit­ted the wall. Nei­ther side was able to gar­ner the six­ty votes need­ed to advance its bill.

The Trump/McConnell plan failed with a vote of fifty to forty-sev­en, falling ten votes short of the six­ty vote thresh­old need­ed to advance.

The roll call from the Pacif­ic North­west was as follows:

Vot­ing Aye: Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Mike Crapo (ID), Steve Daines (MT), Lisa Murkows­ki and Dan Sul­li­van (AK)

Vot­ing Nay: Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Pat­ty Mur­ray and Maria Cantwell (WA), Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden (OR), Jon Tester (MT)

Not Vot­ing: Repub­li­can Sen­a­tor Jim Risch (ID)

One Demo­c­rat crossed over to vote for the Trump/McConnell plan: Joe Manchin of West Vir­ginia. Repub­li­cans Rand Paul and Jim Risch missed the vote, as did Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Jacky Rosen of Nevada.

The Demo­c­ra­t­ic plan then failed with a vote of fifty-two to forty-four. 

The roll call from the Pacif­ic North­west was as follows:

Vot­ing Aye: Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Pat­ty Mur­ray and Maria Cantwell (WA), Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden (OR), Jon Tester (MT); Repub­li­can Lisa Murkows­ki (AK)

Vot­ing Nay: Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Mike Crapo (ID), Steve Daines (MT), Dan Sul­li­van (AK)

Not Vot­ing: Repub­li­can Sen­a­tor Jim Risch (ID)

The Repub­li­cans who vot­ed for the Demo­c­ra­t­ic plan were Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkows­ki of Alas­ka, Lamar Alexan­der of Ten­nessee, Mitt Rom­ney of Utah, Cory Gard­ner of Col­orado, and John­ny Isak­son of Georgia.

Thom Tillis of North Car­oli­na, who had pre­vi­ous­ly called for reopen­ing the gov­ern­ment, vot­ed against the Demo­c­ra­t­ic plan to do so, sid­ing instead with Trump and McConnell. Tillis is con­sid­ered to be one of the more vul­ner­a­ble Repub­li­cans up in 2020, and his vote of sol­i­dar­i­ty with Trump might come back to haunt him.

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