US Senate Democrats Block Bill on New Sanctions Against Syria Over Shutdown

Frederick Owens
January 10, 2019

The White House preempted Wednesday's vote with a veto threat.

Democrats say their priority is to reopen the government, resume paychecks for about 800,000 federal employees and restart disrupted government services.

House-passed bills to reopen the government will not get a vote in the Senate after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked two pieces of legislation.

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey says taxpayers rely on the IRS to assist them in filing taxes and financial planning but now "don't have anyone they can turn to" for answers.

MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell observed on Tuesday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) seems to be missing amid a government shutdown and President Donald Trump's threat to declare a nation emergency over immigration.

The Democratic-led chamber voted 240-188 in favor of passing the measure as the partial government shutdown entered its 19th day.

McConnell voiced his frustration with the tactic on the Senate floor, saying "America's vital interests in the Middle East have been challenged by chaos" and that the package of legislation would allow the Congress to address "all of this head on". We offered every senator an opportunity to clarify his or her personal position on BDS.

More news: US Troop Withdrawal From Syria Will Happen, Says Mike Pompeo

Some GOP senators have already started expressing frustration with the stalled negotiations and appear eager to reopen the remaining parts of government, with continued talks over border security afterward. We have provided a number of ways to do that.

In any event, the administration isn't alone in contemplating unilateral actions. Pence is also set to speak with Senate Republicans on Wednesday.

Tlaib shared Sanders' comments and added, "they forgot what country they represent. We'll just continue educating members".

McConnell also said Tuesday that he would not bring up a pair of funding bills passed by the Democratic House of Representatives last week because President Trump will not sign them. Ben Cardin, "This is a crisis - Americans are suffering for it".

On Twitter, Rubio said he would try for another vote to move forward with the bill later this week. Bob Gibbs, who introduced the legislation along with North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, Indiana Rep. Susan Brooks, Colorado Rep. Scott Tipton and Virginia Rep. Morgan Griffith. Cory Booker, Oregon Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Jeff Merkley and Delaware Sen.

Democratic Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of IL said the President's speech was "completely inconsistent with reality", arguing it's something he would expect to hear at a rally, not in the Oval Office. He was not present at the president's press conference on Friday, but spokesman Don Stewart said that the Kentucky Republican did not know about the event, according to CNN. "Schumer to suddenly block security assistance to Israel simply because he can't work out his differences with President Trump on an unrelated matter". The president long claimed that Mexico would pay for the border wall, something that country has consistently said it would not do.

As an alternative to Trump's demands, progressive groups are calling for passage of a "clean" government funding bill without any money for border wall construction, detention beds or border agents.

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