Senate leaders working on new deal to end US shutdown

Senate leaders are in talks to reopen the government after two failed attempts, as Trump outlines conditions to ensure payment on the US-Mexico wall.

Senate leaders work to end shutdown, Whitehouse Source: Bloomberg

This comes after two failed attempts to end the impasse in the Senate on Thursday.

According to US media reports, the Senate rejected the house backed legislation that would fund the government through February 8, in a 52-44 vote.

In a 50-47 vote, the Senate also blocked legislation endorsed by Trump that provided $5.7 billion for his border wall, according to Politico reports.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced on Thursday that Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer were working on a new deal to reopen the government.

Trump has reportedly indicated he will accept "a large down payment on the wall," as talks between lawmakers continue.

Lawmakers also explored options to end the month-long impasse with the White House and fund government operations for three weeks while talks continue.

Three-week funding bill

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said he had spoken to Trump about a three-week funding bill.

‘All of us believe if we have three weeks with the government open that we could find a way forward to produce a bill that he would sign, that would be good for everybody in the country,’ Graham said on the Senate floor.

‘To my Democratic friends, money for a barrier is required to get this deal done.’ Graham said.

However conflict continued after six Republican senators voted with Democrats to temporarily reopen government agencies without money for Trump’s wall.

The month-long shutdown was initially sparked by Trump’s demand for a $5.7 billion border barrier that was opposed by Democrats.

The shutdown continued when Trump’s demands for the wall became relentless, and Democrats contined to refuse to fund the wall, leaving 800,000 federal workers, as well as private contractors, without pay.

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