Thursday, January 24, 2019

Lamar Alexander one of six Republicans to vote for Democrat-backed stop-gap spending bill ...

Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019 - Lamar Alexander was one of six Republicans who today voted for a Democrat-backed stop-gap spending bill that would have funded the government through February 8 without allocating any additional funds for border security.

My view is that this was a good bill. Federal workers need to get paid.  Also, we are soon going to start feeling the effects of this shutdown in food inspections, home closings, and air port security and in numerous other ways if workers do not get paid.  Workers won't keep working without getting paid.

The government would only only have been open for two weeks, during which time negotiations could have continued.  If no deal was reached to pass a spending bill which included wall funding during this time, we would be no worse off and the government would have shut down again on February 9th. I see that there was little to lose in doing this.

Other Republicans voting for the bill, which was defeated 52–44, were Susan Collins of Maine, Cory Gardner of Colorado, Johnny Isakson of Georgia, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Mitt Romney of Utah.

A competing Republican-backed bill would have ended the shutdown and allocated $5.7 billion for the wall and other border security needs advocated by Democrats and would have included a three year reprieve for DACA recipients. This bill was defeated 50–47.  Republican Senators Mike Lee of Utah and Tom Cotton of Arkansas voted against the bill and Democrat Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia voted in favor.  I have not seen an explanation of why Lee and Cotton opposed the bill.  Either of the bills would have required 60 votes to overcome a filibusterer, so neither was even close to passing.

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