On Thursday, the House passed two bills to fund the shuttered Departments of Agriculture, Transportation, and House and Urban Development (HUD) for the rest of the fiscal year, once again providing no funding for President Trump's border wall. Twelve Republicans joined the Democrats in voting for the Transportation-HUD bill, which passed 244-180, while 10 bucked the White House to reopen the Agriculture Department and ensure funding for food stamps. On Wednesday, eight Republicans voted for a clean bill to reopen the Treasury Department and IRS, and the week before, measures to reopen all departments but Homeland Security (DHS) got seven GOP votes and a wall-less DHS funding bill drew five GOP votes.
The steady uptick in Republicans breaking with Trump suggests "that pressure is mounting on the GOP to do something to end the 20-day stalemate," Axios says. But pressure only goes so far. Earlier Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked Senate votes on last week's House bills to reopen the government, calling the Democratic maneuver "absolutely pointless show votes." Democrats pointed out that the Senate overwhelmingly passed nearly identical bills in December, before Trump said he'd veto any bill without wall funding.