Shutdown Could Last ‘for Months and Months,’ Key Senator Warns

Shutdown Could Last ‘for Months and Months,’ Key Senator Warns


The Democratic-led House was set to quickly pass a package of funding bills aimed at reopening the government. The legislation would provide money for most shuttered departments and agencies through September while funding the Department of Homeland Security through February 8, allowing the parties more time to negotiate over border security. The package would provide $1.3 billion for border fencing and $300 million for additional border security enhancements.

But the House votes won’t end the shutdown.

The Senate would have to pass the bills, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says he won’t bring them up for a vote if Trump won’t sign them, even though Senate Republicans had at one point last month supported a similar stopgap with no added funding for a wall. "Let me say this again, the Senate will not take up any proposal that does not have a real chance of passing this chamber and getting a presidential signature," McConnell said Thursday.

Trump has rejected the Democratic plan because it provides no additional money for a wall on the border with Mexico, and on Wednesday he reportedly told Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer that he can’t agree to the offer because he “would look foolish” if he did.

Against that backdrop, Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) warned Thursday that the partial shutdown could last “for months and months.”

"I'm thinking we might be in for a long haul here,” Shelby told reporters, according to The Hill. “A long haul. In other words, I don't see any quick resolution to this.”

The White House invited congressional leaders to another meeting on Friday after what was billed as a briefing on border security Wednesday yielded no progress, instead devolving into a tense exchange between the two sides.