House Democrats Chart Path in Standoff Over Government Shutdown

(Bloomberg) -- House Democrats are preparing to unveil a plan later Monday to reopen the U.S. government, which has been partially shut down since Dec. 22, without adding funds for President Donald Trump’s border wall.

The plan is to pass two separate bills on Thursday, one reopening eight of the nine closed departments through September 2019 and another temporarily reopening the Department of Homeland Security through Feb. 8, two House Democratic aides said. The new Congress convenes Thursday with Democrats in control of the House.

This would allow continued negotiations over Trump’s request for $5 billion for a border wall while the rest of the government would continue operating.

On Sunday, Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby said the Senate won’t vote on any House Democratic spending bills unless Trump says he supports them.

The first House measure would provide funding through September for the departments of Agriculture, Interior, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Treasury, State, Commerce and Justice, as well as related agencies. The measure will be based on bipartisan draft Senate bills.

Disaster aid for hurricanes and wildfires would be handled separately, one of the aides said.

Democrats are aiming to pressure Senate Republican leaders to allow votes on the bills. The Senate unanimously approved an extension of Homeland Security through Feb. 8 before the shutdown began, only to see the bill die in the House after Trump rejected the plan.

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