Buckle up Biden: House GOP plans deep-dive into botched pullout from Afghanistan
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Monday a new approach for lawmakers to pursue a bipartisan legislative agenda with the president, a shift from his initial plan to simply pass a bill to reopen the government, avoid a government shutdown, and get President Donald Trump out of town for a long-planned weekend.
His plan was to draft a bill combining the two issues — the president’s request for funding for his long-promised border wall with Mexico and a provision he wanted to make permanent, but which Democrats had rejected, that bars the Pentagon from using certain funds for the construction of additional barriers along the border.
[It’s not as simple as just funding the Pentagon; McConnell says Senate has plan for border wall]
With Democrats pushing back on the idea that Trump would fund the government without a border wall, and Trump signaling that he was unwilling to go along, McConnell on Dec. 9 announced he would start a process to draft such a bipartisan deal.
But two weeks later, Trump threatened to shut down the government if there was no money for his promised border wall. McConnell then said he would try again, to get a “clean” bill with few provisions Trump wouldn’t want.
The bill, meanwhile, has been stalled. McConnell’s move Monday suggests that the Senate plan could be moving again. But there is now no agreement on what it would look like — and to what extent.
What McConnell has laid out so far is a framework he likes to call “Biden’s Plan” for ending the shutdown. (Biden’s version: passing a five-week continuing resolution (CR) that would fund the government until Feb. 8 — the date Congress would have to vote on a bill reopening the government.)
The two-step plan would allow Trump to go home for a Saturday to avoid an