Who would have thought that in January 2018 Paul Ryan would look like the more competent of the Republican legislative leaders?
Congress is careening toward the first shutdown in more than four years, with Republicans and Democrats at a seemingly intractable impasse over government funding and the fates of young immigrants facing deportation.
Though House Republicans voted Thursday night to keep the government open, the real drama is in the closely divided Senate, where it’s unclear what, if anything, can clear the chamber’s supermajority threshold. The Senate couldn’t even agree on holding a vote on Thursday night, adjourning after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spurned Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s request to hold a vote and, assuming it failed, restart bipartisan negotiations on immigration and government spending levels.
Senators said they expected a vote on Friday, but had little idea what would come next.
“These are hard issues, there’s a lot of disagreement. Not just on substance but how to proceed to it. And everybody’s trying to gain leverage,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.)., the No. 3 GOP leader.
The uncertainty came just hours after House Republicans put weeks of internal squabbling behind them and secured votes for a spending plan to keep the government open for another four weeks. The vote was 230-197, with 11 Republicans in opposition and six Democrats crossing the aisle to back it.
The Senate voted to open debate on the bill late Thursday, but the plan’s prospects in the Senate are dicey at best, with no apparent hope of winning the required 60 votes to break a filibuster. Some GOP lawmakers said they intend to vote against it, arguing that repeated short-term funding measures harm the military. And a sizable bloc of Democrats have also come out in opposition because it does not address the fate of hundreds of thousands of young immigrants at threat of being deported.
This massive cock-up sounds like a job for…MURC’S LAW!
America’s children need our support.
— Leader McConnell (@SenateMajLdr) January 18, 2018
Let’s work this through. Your Twitter handle would seem to indicate that you are the Senate majority leader. You are, as best as I can determine, a Republican. So, yes, this failure to pass legislation to avert a government shutdown would seem to fall entirely on the Democratic Party, particularly when members of your own party a refusing to vote for the bill. And it seems safe to say the Democrat Party was also responsible for this:
— Tara Golshan (@taragolshan) January 19, 2018