Moderates Cooking Up Deal to End Shutdown

Mitch McConnell would have to agree to a vote on immigration
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2018 5:51 PM CST
Moderates Cooking Up Deal to End Shutdown
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, left, and Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., leave a meeting in the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – A group of moderate-leaning senators say they're making progress toward a deal to end the government shutdown before it stretches through Monday. The group of nearly 20 centrists includes senators from both parties who have brought their plan to Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer, Politico reports. Under the deal, the Senate would vote on a measure to fund the government through Feb. 8, and McConnell would agree to hold a vote on immigration—the key sticking point in the impasse—before then. (Rand Paul floated something similar.) The odds of success were hard to gauge Sunday evening, reports the Washington Post. Asked whether he thought the shutdown would continue through Monday, McConnell deputy John Cornyn answered, "Right now, yeah, I do."

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But one of the senators in the compromise group, Lindsey Graham, said a "breakthrough" seemed possible Sunday night, and he added that striking any deal would only get more difficult on Monday. “We recognize that ultimately it’s the decision of Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer,” said GOP Sen. Susan Collins. “We’re trying to be helpful in showing them that there is a path forward.” McConnell and Schumer have each blamed the opposing party for the shutdown. Also playing the blame game Sunday was the White House, where the public comment line has been changed to say, “Thank you for calling the White House. Unfortunately, we cannot answer your call today because congressional Democrats are holding government funding... hostage," reports the Hill. (Read more government shutdown stories.)

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