McConnell Blocks Bill To Re-Open Government

Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has blocked two House bills aimed at funding and re-opening the federal government.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday blocked two House-passed funding bills that would reopen the federal government.

Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), surrounded by roughly two dozen of their Senate Democratic colleagues, tried to get consent to bring up a bill that would fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through Feb. 8, as well as a separate package that would fund the remaining agencies without current-year appropriations through Sept. 30.

But McConnell objected, arguing they would be “show votes” and saying that he and Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) made an "explicit commitment" to avoid such votes.

“The last thing we need to do right now is trade pointless — absolutely pointless — show votes back and forth across the aisle,” McConnell said.