The Senate will vote Thursday on two bills to re-open the government: One would fund Trump’s border wall and block asylum requests from children from some Central American countries and the other is a clean continuing resolution the Senate already passed 100-0. Tell Collins and King to pass a clean CR and re-open the government now!
Trump shut down the government on Dec. 22 when he refused to sign a bill passed by the House and approved 100-0 by the Senate, after initially pledging to support it. It is now the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. The House has already passed several bills to re-open the government, but Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has refused to allow the Senate to vote on them. On Thursday, McConnell will finally allow votes on two competing bills.
The first would give Trump $5.7 billion for his wall and create new roadblocks designed to block some migrant children from seeking asylum in the U.S. Trump would cap the number of children asylum seekers from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, force them to remain in the countries they are trying to flee in dangerous conditions while their asylum claims are heard, and make them pay an unspecified asylum fee. If their asylum application is granted, the bill would allow the government to deport them at any time. Contrary to Republican claims, the bill provides no meaningful relief for DACA recipients or Temporary Protected Status holders. McConnell is calling the bill a “bipartisan” effort, but no Democrats were involved in writing it.
The second bill, a clean continuing resolution (CR), is based on one already approved by the Senate 100-0 in December. After initially pledging to sign it, Trump rejected it and shutdown the government. It does not include any funding for a border wall but would fully re-open the government through Feb. 8 so that workers could return to work and get paid while Congress negotiates a permanent funding package. The House has already passed similar bills, and Sen. Collins initially supported those House measures. But recent reports indicate her support for re-opening the government with a clean CR is wavering. Sen. King has spoken out against wall funding, arguing that giving in to Trump’s demands would only encourage him to use similar strong-arm tactics in the future.
Neither bill currently has the 60 votes needed to pass, meaning that 800,000 government employees and even more federal contractors may miss another paycheck on Friday. The shutdown has hit many Mainers hard, including Coast Guard service personnel.
- Call Senators Collins and King and tell them to pass the clean CR they both already voted for once.
- Collins: Augusta: (207) 622-8414, Bangor: (207) 945-0417, Biddeford: (207) 283-1101, Caribou: (207) 493-7873, Lewiston: (207) 784-6969, Portland: (207) 780-3575, or DC: (202) 224-2523
- King: Augusta: (207) 622-8292, Bangor: (207) 945-8000, Presque Isle: (207) 764-5124, Scarborough: (207) 883-1588, DC: (202) 224-5344
- Attend a rally and visit to one of Sen. Collins’ offices:
- TODAY in Portland, multiple events organized by Mainers for Accountable Leadership and Maine AFL-CIO, Maine NAACP and the Southern Maine Workers Center.
- THURSDAY in Bangor, organized by Indivisible Bangor.
- FRIDAY in Lewiston, organized by MoveOn, and Portland, organized by March Forth.