Stabenow doubts passage of bills to end shutdown


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — For the first time since the partial shutdown, the U.S. Senate is slated to take up two competing bills, both aimed at reopening the federal government.

On Thursday, senators will have a chance to vote for one of two measures to fund the government and starting giving 800,000 workers their paychecks, but it’s unlikely either will get enough support to pass.

Michigan’s senior senator, Democrat Debbie Stabenow, said Wednesday that she’s not optimistic about the competing bills.

“I don’t think either will have support,” she said, speaking at 24 Hour News 8’s Grand Rapids studio. “I working very hard with colleagues actually on both sides of the aisle to get to a point where folks will just stop using federal workers and their wages as hostages and put people back to work. Open the government and then we need to go through the regular order on the floor and have votes and we’ll see where people’s support is.”

Democrats will likely favor a House measure that would temporally fund government through Feb. 8 with no funding for President Donald Trump’s proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Republicans seem more inclined to favor a plan the president introduced Saturday that would fund the wall and offer some extended protections for people brought to the U.S. as children who face deportation as adults.

Either would require 60 votes to pass, which means a significant number of Republicans would have to go along with the Democratic plan or a smaller — but still difficult to reach — number of Democrats would have to side with Republicans.

Even if one of the bills did pass, either the House would have to sign off on the border wall funding  which seems highly unlikely — or the president would have to sign a funding extension without money for his wall.

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