Senate Democrats Block Syria Sanctions Over Shutdown

Saturday, 12 Jan, 2019

Democratic congressional leaders are in a stalemate with President Trump that has kept the government partially closed since December 22. Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., are the only Democrats in either chamber of Congress to voice support for the BDS movement.

Trump has refused to back down from his demand for a wall.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked an attempt by Democrats to force a vote on legislation to reopen the federal government.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., seems to be kowtowing to the radicals in his conference. They reiterated their call for Trump and Senate Republicans to reopen the government while Congress debates the "expensive and ineffective wall".

Almost all Senate Democrats voted against proceeding debate on the bill, including lawmakers how have previously supported legislation against BDS and in favor of continued security assistance to Israel.

The movement among Democrats to oppose any bills that didn't end the shutdown began over the weekend after Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen said in a tweet that Senate Democrats should block consideration of any other legislation until McConnell of Kentucky allowed a vote on the bills passed by the House to open the government.

The President and vice president continued making their case to Senate Republicans at a Capitol Hill lunch Wednesday, urging the conference to stand together in the President's push to get $5.7 billion for the border wall. One GOP aide said Republicans could still move nominees, which are not subject to a 60-vote threshold to beat a filibuster. Marco Rubio, R-Texas, alleged on Twitter that Senate Democrats feared bringing the bill to the floor because it would expose how many of them support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel, which the measure seeks to limit.

"The whole thing here is that we can not be business as usual, with the government shut down, people not getting paychecks and people getting hurt", she said.

That point, which other Republicans have also employed in their arguments for the president's proposed wall, referred to the Secure Fence Act of 2006.

McConnell objected to the Democratic request, saying he won't agree to "pointless show votes" on bills Trump won't sign. If they are working to protect America and the lives of our citizens, they should be getting their paychecks on time.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of ME was spotted on Wednesday huddling with fellow Republican Sens. "Reopen all the government agencies unrelated to border security and let's continue to work to resolve our differences", the New York Democrat said.

McConnell spokesman Don Stewart said in response, "It would be a stunning reversal for Sen".

Collins said Trump remained "very strong in his position" when she suggested he offer more to Democrats in exchange for the wall in the meeting.

It's the White House, she said, that keeps moving "the goalposts". Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) slammed an anti-BDS bill introduced last week by Republicans as "absurd".

"I nearly never use these types of procedures, but this is extraordinary to be meeting like this while a good part of the government is shut down", Cardin said Monday in an interview.