Cameron Joseph

Cameron Joseph is Talking Points Memo's senior political correspondent based in Washington, D.C. He covers Capitol Hill, the White House and the permanent campaign. Previous publications include the New York Daily News, Mashable, The Hill and National Journal. He grew up near Chicago and is an irrationally passionate Cubs fan.

Articles by Cameron

The Senate has passed a bill to fund the government through mid-February, just hours after President Trump relented on his demand for border wall money as part of a deal.

The Senate cleared the bill by voice vote with no objections. That vote came just one day after most Republican senators voted against an almost identical bill that Trump had opposed.

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He caved — for now.

President Trump agreed on Friday to a short-term deal to reopen the government, reversing himself once again after forcing a month-plus government shutdown because Democrats wouldn’t give him money for border wall construction. That marks a major cave for Trump, and a victory for Democrats — especially House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who refused to budge in the face of his demands.

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A pair of competing Senate bills to reopen the government failed to pass on Thursday, the latest non-starter attempts to fall short as the government shutdown stretches into its 34th day. But a half-dozen Republicans defected from their party to vote with Democrats, a sign of a growing split between President Trump and his party’s more institutional wing.

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The Senate is (finally!) poised to vote on a pair of bills on Thursday to fully fund the government. The bad news is that both plans are almost certain to fail. But the silver lining, some lawmakers hope, is that the failures could potentially force both parties to work more seriously to find a real solution.

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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.

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