McConnell blocks vote on House-passed bills to reopen government

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"It's absurd that the first bill during the (US government) shutdown is legislation which punishes Americans who exercise their constitutional right to engage in political activity", wrote Sanders. Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., are the only Democrats in either chamber of Congress to voice support for the BDS movement.

The package of six appropriations bills and a stopgap for the Department of Homeland Security that the House passed last week to open shuttered agencies was composed of Senate bills, providing Democrats with the opportunity to claim Republicans are so intransigent, they won't even pass their own bills.

"So, let's call it what it is - a flip-flop that is not based on principle or on evidence, but exclusively on the fact the President Trump is the occupant of the White House", stated the Senate majority leaders. The move is meant to call out Republican tactics to move forward on Trump's border wall between the United States and Mexico.

Sen. Rubio, however, argued that Democrats remain defiant toward his proposed legislation, because "a significant [number] of Senate Democrats now support BDS", and that leaders within the Democratic Party want to avoid a floor vote that would reveal their support for the BDS movement's discriminatory economic warfare against Israel.

McConnell insists there won't be a vote on reopening the government, however, without firm assurances that President Donald Trump will sign it. Trump won't sign the House bill because it doesn't fund construction of the wall on the southern border.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called Trump's decision to shut down the government over the wall "just plain wrong" in a televised response to the president's address. "The pressure is building", said GOP Representative Greg Walden, one of eight House Republicans who voted with Democrats Thursday.

"This is the mentality of these people: They hate Israel", she says bluntly.

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Pence also will meet with Senate Republicans on Wednesday.

When she said "no", Schumer said, Trump got up and said, "Then we have nothing to discuss". "There was a very negative reaction by the American public", Hoyer said.

Among the Democratic senators who have endorsed Van Hollen's strategy include his fellow Maryland Sen. "This shutdown is squeezing the finances of so many Americans, including thousands of federal workers who live in Virginia". A Democratic committee aide said Engel expects to see House action on the bill soon. "Currently, 79% of Republicans say they sympathize more with Israel than the Palestinians, compared with just 27% of Democrats".

It's the White House, she said, that keeps moving "the goalposts".

"As this really hits home as this first paycheck is going to be missed, we think Republicans are starting to respond and understand we need a comprehensive immigration reform plan, we need to have the discussion about national security, but not while holding our federal employees hostage", said Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., agreed that reopening the government is the main priority but added that the bill itself is an affront to the First Amendment.

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