WASHINGTON—The Senate will vote this week on efforts to reopen the federal government for the first time since the partial government shutdown began, taking up dueling measures after more than a month of gridlock.
The chamber will vote Thursday on rival proposals by President Trump and congressional Democrats to end the shutdown. The votes will come one day before hundreds of thousands of federal employees will miss their second paycheck Friday.
[Things have gotten nasty between President Trump and congressional Democrats over the government shutdown. But there could be ways out of the current stalemate. WSJ’s Gerald F. Seib explains. Photo: Getty]
It was unclear Tuesday, when the Senate votes were announced, if either measure would secure the 60 votes needed to advance.
Democratic leaders oppose Mr. Trump’s proposal, which combines $5.7 billion to build steel barriers along the border with Mexico, temporary protections for some immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and other changes to the immigration system, while reopening the rest of the government. It is unlikely to secure more than a couple of Democratic votes in the Senate, where the GOP holds a 53-47 majority.
But Democrats’ measure, which would fund the government through Feb. 8, sets up a tough vote for Senate Republicans, many of whom have talked about reopening the government. It was too early to tell Tuesday if the measure would secure the 13 Republicans it would need to clear procedural hurdles, assuming that all members of the Democratic caucus support it.
Some GOP aides were skeptical Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) would agree to bring it to the floor unless he was confident he had the votes to block it. Until this week, Mr. McConnell had refused to bring up any legislation that didn’t have the support of both Mr. Trump and enough Democrats to become law, saying doing so would be a waste of time.