Senate Scrambles to Tackle Wall Funding Before Shutdown

The Senate on Friday was scrambling to take up a spending package with billions in funding for a border wall, as President Trump made clear there’s a “good chance” for a partial government shutdown at midnight.

The House on Thursday approved $5.7 billion for a border wall as part of a measure to fund the government through early February. But the Senate on Friday afternoon was struggling to overcome a procedural hurdle to even set up a vote on the bill, amid Democrats’ refusal to give in on a border wall.

“President Trump: you will not get your wall,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the floor. “Abandon your shutdown strategy. You’re not getting the wall today, next week or on January 3rd, when Democrats take control of the House.”

The Senate needs a simple majority to simply take up the spending package — after which the measure would need an even more daunting 60-vote majority to pass. But as of Friday afternoon, the procedural vote remained open for more than an hour as Republicans struggled to cobble together support. Things were complicated by outgoing GOP Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake voting against proceeding and other lawmakers traveling for the holidays.