McConnell announces continuing resolution

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announces he will introduce a continuing resolution to the Senate for a vote, which would fund the government through February 8, 2019.

Posted: Dec 20, 2018 5:34 AM
Updated: Dec 20, 2018 6:08 AM

The Senate passed a stop-gap spending bill on Wednesday night in an effort to keep the government funded and prevent a partial shutdown at the end of the week.

A shutdown hasn't been averted just yet: The measure will still need to be approved by the House of Representatives and signed by President Donald Trump before it can take effect.

But the Senate's passage of the short-term measure brings Washington one step closer to staving off a shutdown of some key federal agencies, set to expire at midnight on Friday, just days before Christmas.

The Senate worked late into the night on Wednesday evening to pass the measure, which had appeared to have hit an impasse earlier in the day over a push to advance public lands legislation.

Earlier on Wednesday, McConnell introduced the measure which would fund the remaining parts of the government through February 8, 2019.

McConnell's proposal has the backing of the top congressional Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, and top congressional Republicans have indicated they are optimistic that the President would sign the measure.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, the current no. 2 highest-ranking Senate Republican, predicted on Wednesday that Trump would sign it.

"He will sign a clean CR," Cornyn told CNN.

Pelosi, the House Democratic leader who is poised to reclaim the speaker's gavel in the new Congress, said Wednesday afternoon that she supported the measure.

"This is a missed opportunity to pass full-year funding bills now," Pelosi said in a statement. "However, Democrats will be ready to fully, responsibly fund our government in January, and we will support this continuing resolution."

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said during a speech on the Senate floor, "Thankfully, President Trump appears to have backed down from his position for billions in direct appropriations for a border wall."

Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill have made clear they don't want a shutdown, but had been at an impasse over the President's demand for $5 billion in funding for his long-promised wall at the US-Mexico border.

Democrats have made clear that figure is a non-starter for them and any spending bill would need at least some Democratic votes to pass in the Senate.

Of course, no spending measure is final until the President signs it.

But on Tuesday, the White House appeared to step away from the brink of a shutdown.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Tuesday morning during an interview with Fox News that, "We have other ways that we can get to that $5 billion (for a border wall)."

Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and other conservative allies of the President plan to give brief speeches on the House floor Wednesday night, however, urging Trump not to abandon his quest for border wall funding.

They include: Mark Meadows of North Carolina, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Paul Gosar of Arizona, Steve Pearce of New Mexico, Jody Hice of Georgia, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Morgan Griffith of Virginia.

Despite opposition from the Freedom Caucus, however, the House should still have the votes to still pass the continuing resolution, assuming most, if not all, Democrats support it, since it has Pelosi's blessing.

But even as members of the Freedom Caucus are poised to urge Trump not to abandon his quest for border wall funding, White House officials say it's likely the President will do just that -- and sign a short-term spending bill to avert a partial government shutdown.

The President has been unusually quiet about the issue on Wednesday, holding his tongue as some conservative commentators and lawmakers blast him for abandoning his commitment.

But two White House aides said the President likely has no choice but to sign a temporary funding measure to keep the government open until February 8. The aides say the White House is intentionally not signaling what Trump will do, but there does not appear to be talk inside the West Wing of blocking it.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway hinted earlier that Trump is leaning this way when she told reporters at the White House the President will "take a look at" the continuing resolution, though she attempted to frame any punt as something other than a concession from the White House.

All this comes a week after the President said he'd be "proud" to shut down the government, so delaying the funding fight until Democrats retake the House next year is a fairly clear concession -- and a risky one. Although Republicans clearly don't have the votes to support his request.

This story has been updated and will continue to update with additional developments Wednesday.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 34622

Reported Deaths: 1215
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds269748
DeSoto181818
Madison138236
Jones117349
Harrison104014
Rankin103515
Neshoba102274
Lauderdale94281
Forrest93943
Scott79215
Jackson72717
Washington64310
Copiah63115
Leake61320
Lee58621
Holmes57341
Oktibbeha56828
Wayne55416
Warren55320
Yazoo5436
Grenada5357
Lowndes52613
Leflore52256
Lincoln50935
Lamar5027
Pike47020
Sunflower4528
Lafayette4374
Monroe43635
Covington4195
Panola3996
Bolivar38018
Attala37524
Simpson3733
Newton35710
Adams34019
Pontotoc3266
Tate32313
Marion31312
Claiborne29310
Chickasaw29219
Winston28711
Pearl River27632
Noxubee2758
Marshall2693
Jasper2676
Clay25511
Union23811
Smith23412
Walthall2267
Coahoma2156
Clarke21425
Lawrence1992
Yalobusha1938
Kemper18014
Carroll17311
Tallahatchie1664
Humphreys15910
Montgomery1493
Calhoun1475
Tippah14411
Itawamba1418
Hancock13813
Webster12811
Tunica1193
Jefferson1173
Jefferson Davis1164
Prentiss1123
Greene10810
Amite1063
George1023
Wilkinson959
Tishomingo921
Quitman891
Alcorn852
Perry764
Choctaw754
Stone732
Franklin492
Benton420
Sharkey420
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6030162
Mobile4418137
Montgomery4339109
Tuscaloosa254448
Madison19078
Marshall186611
Shelby150924
Lee149437
Morgan12205
Baldwin111410
Walker105127
Elmore98919
Dallas9639
Franklin92216
Etowah88214
DeKalb8416
Chambers65727
Russell6570
Autauga65313
Butler64328
Tallapoosa61669
Unassigned58626
Limestone5741
Houston5526
Cullman5395
Lauderdale5376
Lowndes48022
St. Clair4692
Colbert4656
Pike4595
Escambia4528
Calhoun4365
Coffee4074
Covington39911
Jackson3742
Bullock37010
Barbour3672
Dale3621
Talladega3497
Hale33722
Marengo33011
Wilcox2968
Clarke2946
Winston2893
Chilton2872
Sumter28512
Blount2731
Pickens2556
Monroe2492
Marion24514
Randolph2449
Conecuh2277
Perry2091
Bibb2081
Macon2069
Choctaw20212
Greene1928
Henry1433
Crenshaw1273
Washington1277
Lawrence1170
Cherokee1127
Geneva920
Lamar811
Fayette781
Clay742
Coosa621
Cleburne411
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