Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has not been bashful in his attempts to oppose President Trump and his Republican counterpart, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in their efforts to reopen the government.
After the House passed a bill which would have reopened the government and included $5.7 billion in funding for the construction of a border wall, it was Schumer who prevented the Senate from taking up a vote on the bill. Should it have passed, it would have almost certainly been signed into law by President Trump.
Now, as the Daily Caller reports, Senate Democrats are trying a new strategy to try and end the shutdown, holding the entire nation hostage in the process.
According to the report, top Democrats in the chamber are supporting an idea of stopping McConnell from passing any legislation at all while the government is shut down.
Nothing—even bipartisan measures—would be voted on in the new strategy as Democrats would prevent passage of all future bills. It should be noted that even if McConnell took up a recently-passed pair of House bills to fund the government (both passed nearly entirely by Democrats), President Trump has already announced his intention to veto them.
From the report:
A growing number of Senate Democrats are refusing to vote in favor of any legislation until an appropriations bill is passed to end the government shutdown.
The Republican-led House passed a stopgap funding bill on Dec. 20 that included $5.7 billion to construct a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. However, with a 51-seat majority, Senate Republicans fell short of the necessary 60 votes needed to send it to President Donald Trump’s desk for signature.
“In an attempt to re-open the government, Schumer and his Democratic caucus are quietly planning to block legislation that McConnell brings to the floor, according to The Washington Post. The first piece of legislation to be protested is a bill to authorize security assistance to Israel,” the Daily Caller added in the report.
Several prominent Democrats have championed the idea:
“Senate Democrats should block consideration of any bills unrelated to opening the government until Sen. Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans allow a vote on the bipartisan bills the House passed to open the government. Mitch, don’t delay. Let’s vote!”
— Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen
“The House has already passed bipartisan bills to end the #TrumpShutdown. I agree with @ChrisVanHollen. The Senate’s first and only order of business right now should be passing that same legislation. We need to re-open the government and get our federal employees back to work.”
— Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren
“I agree with Senator @ChrisVanHollen. The @senatemajldr should immediately allow a vote on the bipartisan bills the House already passed to reopen the government—until that happens, @SenateDems should block consideration of all unrelated bills.”
— New Jersey Senator Cory Booker
“I agree, @ChrisVanHollen, the Senate must reopen the government as the first order of business before proceeding with other bills. Federal workers and government contractors are suffering.”
— California Senator Kamala Harris
“Sen. Van Hollen is absolutely right. We should block consideration of all bills on the Senate floor until we end the Trump shutdown and reopen the federal government.”
— Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders