How likely is the government to reopen this week?

How likely is the government to reopen this week?

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U.S. Capitol (Photo: Flickr/Mark Fischer)

WASHINGTON – The government has been partially shut down for more than a month and negotiations appear to be at a standstill.

On Friday federal courts will run out of money and about 800,000 federal workers will receive a paystub showing deferred pay for the second time this month.

Today the Republican-controlled Senate is expected to begin debate on legislation to reopen the government. The legislation conforms with a proposal made by President Donald Trump during a televised address on Saturday.

The End the Shutdown and Secure the Border Act would provide $5.7 billion for a physical barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border and grant a three-year extension on protections for DACA and TPS recipients.

The legislation would provide $12.7 billion for disaster relief. It would fund outstanding executive departments through Sep. 30, 2019 and reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) for that duration.

Senate Democrats are expected to filibuster the measure. Sixty votes are needed to break a filibuster; Republicans have 53 seats.

Should the legislation pass the Senate, it is considered dead on arrival in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.

Prior to Trump’s speech on Saturday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi outright rejected the proposal.

“It is unlikely that any one of these provisions alone would pass the House, and taken together, they are a non-starter. For one thing, this proposal does not include the permanent solution for the Dreamers and TPS recipients that our country needs and supports,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement.

Democrats have offered $1.3 billion for border security as a counteroffer to the wall. The administration has repeatedly refused.

The House has passed a series of spending bills to reopen the government that the Senate has refused to consider. The House is expected to pass additional spending bills this week.

At the moment both chambers seemed locked in a game of show votes. The goal is to gain enough political leverage to force the other’s hand.

It is unclear when and if that will happen.

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