The Senate will receive two votes on Thursday to reopen the federal government and end its longest shutdown. It is expected that both voices fail. The closure will continue.
The example of failed polls in the ground has become one of the leading cards of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the Senate in recent years. They have proven to be an effective tool to defuse difficult disagreements and navigate stalemates. Formerly, a failed bill in the Senate has been a weak guide, but McConnell has used it to its tactical advantage in a highly polarized Washington.
McConnell has previously used this gambit in high-pressure situations. Some Republican lobbyists in the city have described it as "showing them a body": tuning votes you know will fail to overcome the impasse for a specific problem.
As Vox reported in the controversial health care debate:
Washington observers believe the Senate is preparing for a failed vote that will bring a seven-year search to lift and replace Obamacare to a spectacular but definitive end would. 19659006] It is the strategy "Show them a body".
"I think the goal has already been set. But how is the way? "Told me a Republican health lobbyist who asked for anonymity to speak openly. "They need to be able to show voters a body to say that they have tried and failed."
Now it's a logical time for McConnell to call this game. Four weeks after the deadlock, Republicans in the Senate were unwilling to make a difference without Trump spending $ 5 billion on the border wall, and Democratic leaders are not making headway in their talks with the president. The Democrats beat McConnell for not allowing the reopening of the government. Now they get one – even if they will not have the desired effect.
Failed votes are not exactly productive, but they are still useful for Senate leadership because they force the appearance of work and work to force a reset as soon as a legislative path is blocked.
What votes will the Senate take soon?
McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer negotiated a deal this week to vote on two proposals on Thursday:
- President Trump's proposal, which he announced on Saturday, is intended to finance the government and billions for border security and temporary Protection is provided by DACA receivers.
- A provisional government financing bill to fund the government at existing levels – without including immigration policy – that would reopen the government by 8 February. A corresponding version of this law has already been passed by the Democratic House.
Both bills would require 60 votes to go forward. But there probably will not be enough Republicans joining the Democrats to pass a clean bill, and there are few Democrats willing to back Trump's wall.
What's the point? Senators will be given the opportunity in public to release their disappointments through a vote to open the government – and McConnell will have shown the Democratic leaders and President Trump that none of the two courses in the Senate has the support they need.
Politico Playbook explained the goal of dueling failed votes as follows: "This is a kind of pressure relief valve release." It is not really intended to end the decommissioning.
McConnell "showed them a body" before
We saw the same drama twice before, once for the lifting of Obamacare in 2017 and once during the previous government shutdown over DACA and the Wall last January.
In this first instance, the cancellation debate of Obamacare was already clearly in trouble. Nevertheless, McConnell had repeatedly voted in favor of a vote, although he had no clear path to get 50 votes (this bill was subject to special rules that required only an absolute majority) for a single plan. He seemed prepared to keep a voice, even if it only showed that none of the existing repeal bill could come about.
The final vote was almost on schedule, even though McConnell was getting closer to health legislation than most people expected. Over the course of several days, the Senate received failed votes on a repeal and replacement plan, a clean repeal bill and a "thin" repeal bill. The last one almost made it – McConnell had cleverly proved that none of the other bills had the support he needed – leaving the "thin" bill as the only possible alternative – but John McCain stopped it with his notorious thumb.
The strategy resulted in a spectacular flare in the Senate, but also added a finality to the months-long debate on health care. McConnell and the rest of the Senate continued the tax reform in the following months.
The same story happened a few months later. Senate Democrats joined the government in January 2018 to try to negotiate with Trump for a permanent solution for DACA beneficiaries whose legal status was jeopardized by the administration. The president proved to be an unreliable negotiator, but the Democrats still wanted some kind of concession to agree to the reopening of the government.
What they got in the end was another "show them the body" moment. McConnell agreed not to impose specific immigration laws but to conduct an "open and fair" debate on immigration unless the Democrats close the government. At the beginning of February, four different immigration bills were put to the vote. Everyone failed in the end.
The Senate is again preparing to receive convicted votes on a major topic.
The trick had served McConnell's purposes. The government reopened this January. The president was protected from an embarrassing situation when his own plan had failed, while a more migrant-friendly version was passed. Both sides realized that they did not actually have enough support for their positions to do something more productive for immigration, so they just kept going – until the recent state of immigration led to a further closure that still has not been resolved.
Now we will do the same on Thursday. Senators will be able to vote, but if both plans fail as expected, President Trump will be prevented from vetoing the government. The votes will not resolve the closure, but they can ease the tension for a few days and give the Republicans the chance to regroup.
It may sound strange, but nowadays the Senate works just as well.