On Friday, some 800,000 federal workers will go without a paycheck for a second time. On Thursday, the Senate will consider two bills that would put a stop—one permanent, one temporary—to the shutdown. Senators will be presented with dueling options, one supported by Republicans, the other by Democrats. One measure comes from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and aligns with President Trump's proposal to combine his requested border-wall funding with temporary protections for some immigrants. The second was green-lit by the House, and would fund the government through Feb. 8, allowing for further negotiations in the interim; there is no wall funding in that bill.
Neither is expected to garner the necessary 60 votes, but the New York Times notes it will be the first time the Senate has made a move to try to end the shutdown. And the AP reports the votes' results may tell us something: "The plan represents the first test of Senate Republicans' resolve behind Trump's insistence that agencies remain closed until Congress approves $5.7 billion to build a wall. ... For Democrats, the votes will show whether there are any cracks in the so-far unified rejection of Trump's demand." CNN provides the tally: For the GOP bill to pass, seven Democrats would have to get behind it. For the Democratic bill to pass, 13 Republicans would need to vote yes. Reuters notes that Wednesday marks day 33 of the shutdown. (Some FBI agents say the shutdown is doing serious damage.)