For the first time since the government shutdown began more than a month ago, there appears to be a tiny bit of movement.
The Senate will vote on Thursday on a pair of competing bills to reopen the government — one that includes President Trump’s long-demanded border wall funds, and one that would simply fully fund the government for a few more weeks without any wall money.
“For the first time, we will get a vote on whether to open up the government without any decision, one way or the other, on border security,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on the Senate floor Tuesday night as the pair of leaders announced the deal.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) office disputes that an agreement was reached — “There is no deal. We’re voting. That’s it,” a McConnell spokesman told TPM.
And there’s a good chance that both bills won’t go anywhere.
Republicans likely won’t reach the 60 votes necessary to pass the plan that includes $5.7 billion in funding for wall construction along the U.S.-Mexico border. Senate Democrats’ plan to temporarily reopen the government until Feb. 8 to allow both sides to negotiate on a broader deal would need support from President Trump to pass, which seems unlikely.
But after weeks of no Senate votes, the Thursday vote will at least get lawmakers on the record on whether they’re willing to support different proposals.
This post has been updated.