House Democrats, with support from seven Republicans, voted to end the partial government shutdown Thursday night by funding the shuttered agencies without any money for President Trump's border wall. Trump said he wouldn't sign the bills without $5 billion for the wall, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reiterated that he won't force Trump to use his veto. "The Senate will not take up any proposal that does not have a real chance of passing this chamber and getting a presidential signature," he said on the Senate floor. He called the House bills "political statements rather than serious solutions."
New House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reminded McConnell that Congress doesn't work for the president. "What we're asking the Republicans in the Senate to do is to take 'yes' for an answer," she said. "We are sending them back exactly, word for word, what they have passed. ... Did they not hear about the coequal branch of government, and that we the Congress send the president legislation and he can choose to sign or not?" Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) piled on. "The power to end the shutdown is in two people's hands: Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell," he told reporters. "They both should try"
At least two Senate Republicans agreed, and several others expressed discomfort with the shutdown. "I think we should pass a continuing resolution to get the government back open," said Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), up for re-election in 2020. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) added that "it would be great" to have most of the House-passed appropriations bills "signed into law because there is not great controversy over them, and at least we'd be getting those workers back to work."
But McConnell isn't budging. He's also up for re-election in 2020, and he's much less popular in Kentucky than Trump, The New York Times notes. So after two years of trying to advance Trump's agenda, "McConnell now sees his primary job as standing in the way of Speaker Nancy Pelosi."